HOPE IN GOD
I Peter 3:8-(14,15,16)
Bible Fact: God is willing to keep those whose minds are stayed on Him in faith.
The Big Idea: Hope in God is always filled with strong confidence that God can handle any situation.
The school system in a large city had a program to help children keep up with their school work during stays in the city's hospitals. One day a teacher who was assigned to the program received a routine call asking her to visit a particular child. She took the child's name and room number and talked briefly with the child's regular class teacher. "We're studying nouns and adverbs in his class now," the regular teacher said, "and I'd be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn't fall too far behind."
The hospital program teacher went to see the boy that afternoon. No one had mentioned to her that the boy had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upset at the sight of the boy, she stammered as she told him, "I've been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs." When she left she felt she had not accomplished much.
But the next day, a nurse asked her, "What did you do to that boy?" The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and began to apologize. "No, no," said the nurse. "You don't know what I mean. We've been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He's fighting back, responding to treatment. It's as though he's decided to live."
Two weeks later the boy explained that he had completely given up hope until the teacher arrived. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization. He expressed it this way: "They wouldn't send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?" Bits & Pieces, July 1991.
I. HOW DOES ONE OBTAIN BELIEVING STRONG CONFIDENCE IN GOD? THERE ARE THREE BASIC ELEMENTS THAT WORK TOGETHER TO CONTRIBUTE TO A BELIEVER’S STRONG CONFIDENCE IN GOD:
A. First, a God-directed will – plus a strong hope – into a passionate desire; Deuteronomy 6:1-6; 30:6; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30
II. One’s HOPE in God should never be mixed, substituted or exchanged for strong overwhelming selfish desires of the world. Job 27:8; 31:24-28; Matthew 6:19-21;Mark 8:34-38; I Timothy 6:9-19
III. Hope based on faith in God transforms otherwise impossible situations to move natural events into supernatural experiences for miraculous outcomes. Mature ready-to-act hope in God is dependent upon one’s God-minded will to believe God for a certain action to take place. At the same time, the will to believe God must be properly demonstrated by the God-minded person at the level of expected returned blessing for a faith investment. Mark 11:22-24; Hebrews 11:8-12; Romans 4:16-25; I Kings 17:8-16