Scripture reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
Sermon Title: Abound in Hope
Sermon Text: Romans 15:13
Key verse: Romans 15:13 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God of Hope
Word of Hope
Power of Hope
Romans 15:13 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The message this morning is about hope. The main idea for the message today is that we need to pray for the God of hope to fill us with all joy and peace in believing.
Is hope important to us? How much of our time do we focus on hope?
What is hope? Hope is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Hope is needed most when the situations we are in are at their worst. Let me give you an example.
Imagine this situation was to happen to you. You are living in early bible times and you receive word that a tribe of bandits have stolen your oxen and donkeys and murdered all your servants caring for the flock. While this was happening, fire burned your sheep and the servants who were watching over them. Another band of robbers stole all the camels and killed all your servants who were keeping watch over them. Your livelihood is now completely totally taken away. While this was happening, a freak wind storm blows over the home where all your children were gathered and all your children die. Talk about having a bad day. Nothing compares. Not long after this, you are struck ill from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head with burning, ulcerous, oozing, swelling boils over every inch of your body.
We are of course, talking about Job. God considered Job to be blameless and upright and unequaled upon the earth. The reason God considered Job to be righteous is because Job had hope in God. Job had such confidence in God, that despite the circumstances of his life, his hope in God was unwavering.
Job 13:15 15 “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.
I believe this is the most profound statement on hope in all the Scriptures.
This is how God would want us to hope.
God desires we believe apart from Him, there is no hope. We are to have total hope in God no matter the circumstances of our life. Poverty, sickness, or loneliness should never cause us to lose hope in this life.
There are three truths about hope in Romans 15:13 we will focus on this morning.
- the God of hope: that God is the one who will fill us; God is our source of hope
- the word of hope: Hope comes from joy and peace in believing which leads to our abounding in hope
- the power of hope: hope abounds, prospers and overflows, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The first truth we will focus upon is this, God is a God of hope.
1) God of Hope
I can think of two very sad and sorrowful conditions.
The first very sad condition is to have no hope.
Someone may have no hope because they have a sickness for which there is no cure. They have no hope. Someone may have no hope because they are in a relationship which is irreparable. They have no hope. Someone may be in a battle and completely surrounded by enemies and they have no hope. There are many situations in life where people experience no hope.
The second sad and sorrowful condition is to have hope, but the hope is wrongly placed.
The Bible talks about having misplaced hope.
Paul told Timothy to Instruct those who are rich to not fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches. (1 Timothy 6:17). In the Psalms, there is a warning for a king not to put his hope in his mighty army or for the warrior not to put his hope in his great strength or in having a horse (Psalm 33:16-17).
People put their hope in the medical profession to find cures. We hope for weather which will be pleasant for our weekends. We hope in our favorite team to win. We hope we can find a better job. We hope we can have our relationships fixed. We hope our children are successful in life. We hope politicians will fix all the problems in our government. There are hundreds of things in which people hope for.
This past week, millions of people put their hope in selecting six numbers. They put their hope in winning the lottery with the hope it would solve all their problems. They hoped they would never have to work again. They hoped they could buy whatever their heart desired. They hoped they could go on a vacation. They hoped they might help their friends and loved ones. The lottery was the object of their hope.
Proverbs 13:12 12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick…
Whenever what we hope in does not take place; when our expectations are not met and the situation we desired does not come about, our heart is made sick.
Every day someone somewhere has hope that is never realized. The world is filled with people whose hearts are sick. There is disappointment, a lack of peace, sorrow, and even anger.
There is a cure for the heart sickened from hope deferred. There is a way to have your hope realized and your expectations fulfilled and that is to place hope in God who is unchanging and forever faithful.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.
Job had such confidence in God, that regardless of his circumstance, his hope in God never changed. It was Job’s hope that helped him persevere.
God says, come to me those who are heavy-laden, those who are hungry and thirsty, come to me those who need rest, shelter, peace, and joy. God says take all your expectations and desires and place them upon me and expect that I will fulfill and satisfy.
Psalm 62 5 My soul, … wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.
God is the only source for our hope. There is no other.
If we are in poverty, we are to keep hoping in God and trust He will one day satisfy us with the riches of Christ.
If we are ill, we are to hope in God and trust He will one day give us life everlasting with no sickness or death.
If we find circumstances around us to be completely desperate, violent, insecure, and troubling, we are to hope in God that one day He will give us safety, comfort, peace, and rest forevermore in His Kingdom.
God is a God of hope.
The reason we may put our hope in God is because of the Word of God. The second truth in this verse is that we may place our hope in God because He has given us the Word of hope.
2) Word of Hope
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope …
We are to pray for the God of hope to fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we will abound in hope. In other words, we are to ask God to fill us with joy and peace as we believe what He said will take place will take place.
Let’s ask God, “Please fill us with joy and fill us with peace as we believe Your word.” When we are filled with joy and peace in believing, we will abound in hope. To abound in hope means we will prosper and overflow in hope.
Let’s understand what it means to abound in hope. There is a way we can be a people filled with hope. We may be a people living with complete sureness and confidence knowing ultimately, good will happen. God promises we are a people whose expectations of having a life filled with pleasures forevermore, will be fulfilled. We may live with abounding hope which is to have the excitement and anticipation of expecting good to happen. All of our dreams and all of our expectations will be fulfilled. Biblical hope is not wishful thinking. Biblical hope is a sure thing. We are to expect this sure thing to happen.
How then may we be a people filled with such a sure hope? We may be filled with a sure hope because we have the word of hope. Just a few verses back (Romans 15:4), Paul said all that was written earlier was written so we might have hope.
We are to believe and hope in the faithfulness of God even in the darkest of times. Our hope is based upon Scripture and reading about the character of God and how He proves Himself over and over again.
Scripture proves God is faithful and always brings to pass those things He says He will do. Our hope in knowing what tomorrow has in store is based upon the sureness of God’s Word.
Paul taught this in Romans when he talked about Abraham in chapter 4 (4:16-25).
God gave Abraham His word as a promise, “I will make you a father of many nations and your descendants will be as the stars in the sky.” Paul said, Abraham contemplated this, he thought about his own body, and how he was as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and Abraham contemplated the deadness of Sarah’s womb and Abraham’s faith in God being able to fulfill that promise did not waver. Abraham believed God.
Listen to the phrase Paul uses to describe the situation, “In hope against hope Abraham believed.” In other words, Abraham had hope even though there was no earthly reason to have any hope. The reason Abraham had hope was because he was completely confident that God would do what He promised; God is able to perform miracles.
Abraham believing God gave glory to God. It is a testament to Abraham’s confidence in God’s word and that God is not a liar, God is good. Abraham believed God always does what He says He will do.
Here is what is important, being fully assured that what God promised, He is able also to perform. Because Abraham believed that, it was credited to him as righteousness. God overlooked all of Abraham’s sins and said I will atone for your sins because you believe and hope in Me.
Abraham believed God would make him a Father of many nations and Abraham believing God will do what He says He will do is credited to Abraham as righteousness. Paul says, not only for Abraham’s sake was it written that it was credited to him for righteousness but for our sake as well.
Our salvation is completely based upon this and this alone.
We are those who believe Jesus went to the cross because of our sins and God raised Jesus from the dead. Our belief, our faith in God’s work of salvation, makes us justified before God. Our faith is counted to us as righteousness. We stand before God, justified, completely not guilty, right and just, blameless of any sin against God, not because we deserve to be blameless, but because we believe the Gospel; God’s word.
Think now of how our salvation relates to Romans 15:13.
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope …
Our salvation in Christ is the foundation of what we are to believe and that belief erupts in joy and peace.
Our hope, and our joy and peace, is based upon one critical truth of the Gospel.
Think about gospel truths and which truths give hope; knowing hope is future expectation of good.
- There is a God. That’s all well and good, but when I compare my life to the life of a Hindu who has thousands of God, I have no more reason for a future expectation of good than a Hindu.
- Jesus is God in the flesh. It is exciting God became a man, but what is in it for me? Why should that truth give me hope?
- Our sins are forgiven. That is good. But as we compare Christians to non-Christians, what advantage to do we have over other people in having our sins forgiven? Why have hope?
None of these truths give hope without the resurrection.
It’s all about the Resurrection
The resurrection is the gospel truth which gives us hope. The Gospel without the resurrection is hopeless. This is exactly what Paul is talking about when he says, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, if our hope is only in forgiveness of sins in this life, and we die and stay dead, we are of all men most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19). We are to be pitied because we have no hope just as all other religions have no hope.
No resurrection means no judgment of the wicked, no opportunity to see God’s face, no opportunity to live in the perfection of holiness, no opportunity to see our loved ones in Christ.
Without the resurrection, death and the grave have the final say and evil wins the day.
However, we do have the resurrection. We are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). Our hope is, at the coming again of Jesus Christ, we are delivered and will totally escape the clutches of sin and death (2 Corinthians 1:10; Titus 2:13). God raised Jesus from the dead and all of our hope is in God, trusting He will raise us up just as He raised up Jesus (1 Peter 1:21).
This is what we understood as we went through Romans 8.
We, along with all creation, wait eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. Creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption and will enter into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Our hope is what we read in Isaiah 11 will take place.
Jesus will care for the poor and the afflicted; He will strike the earth and slay the wicked. The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the young goat and a little boy will lead them. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra. No animal or person will ever hurt or destroy anything in Christ’s Kingdom. We will all dwell in His glorious resting place together.
Because we have that hope of glory, we groan within ourselves and all creation groans, waiting eagerly for our adoption and the redemption of our body.
As Romans 8:24 says, “in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” We don’t see the Kingdom, but we hope for it. We don’t let the circumstances of this life interfere with our hope.
This is how we are to believe with all joy and peace.
Believing with all joy and peace
When the reality of the resurrection takes root in our heart, hope covers life like a blanket.
Believing with all joy and peace doesn’t mean we have to walk around with a serene peaceful look on our face and a smile always on our mouth. It is possible to have inner joy in difficult situations and to have peace in our soul even though we may be surrounded by war.
We have no further to look than the cross to understand how this works.
Jesus was not joyful on the cross. The Bible says He despised the shame and endured the cross. Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Jesus was not a man who felt the need display joy in every circumstance. He didn’t grin and bear it. Jesus was without sin. Because He was not singing hymns like Paul in prison while He was on the cross means we can be serving in ministry and we don’t have to be joyful all the time. It is okay to not enjoy the painful aspects of ministry.
We read Scripture that says rejoice in the Lord always and we think it means always rejoice outwardly. That is not what Paul is saying, otherwise Jesus would be sinning for enduring the cross and despising the shame. The Bible says to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.
We don’t have to be joyful, but we should not grumble and complain. We need to understand how this works.
We can have joy in believing and do so by looking to future joy. We can hope in future joy and future peace. We can have joy in our hearts and peace in our hearts because of future glory.
We have a God of hope, the Word of Hope and we abound in hope by the power of hope.
3) Power of Hope
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
All the power we have in our hoping comes to us when we are born again, when God fills us with His Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit always works in cooperation with the Word of God.
When we believe the Gospel, as a result, we have peace with God and we stand in grace. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. When trials and tribulations come our way, and we persevere, the fruit of our perseverance is hope. Our hope is a hope that does not disappoint but a hope which carries us and gives us strength. The building and molding of hope, our rejoicing in hope, comes about because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1-5).
The fruit of the Spirit is joy and peace (among other things). The Holy Spirit gives us the power to have joy and peace as we wait for our future glory. The Holy Spirit is God’s down payment so we know our hope is real.
As Galatians 5:5 says it is through the Holy Spirit, by faith, we wait with hope.
8 Practical ways to apply these truths
1) Understand the importance of hope
Hope is not talked about enough. We need to talk about it more. Paul ends his presentation of the Gospel, 15 chapters, with an emphasis on hope.
In 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, it is worthy to note Paul says, “faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love is the greatest, but let’s not forget about hope.
As we come to grow in our understanding and embracing of hope, let’s endeavor to do what we can to include more hope in our conversations. It’s simple to do really. All we need to do is talk about the things we hope for.
2) Desire to abound in hope
We should be a people who abound in hope. Hope should be oozing from our pores. No other religion offers hope which even comes close to the hope we have in Christ. Our hope should be evident in our lives. When it is, the circumstances we face will become very small and insignificant when we compare them to the hope of glory.
When we abound in hope, people will notice. Then, as Paul says, “having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech (2 Corinthians 3:12) and we will fulfill what Peter says, which is we will be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within us.
3) Hope rightly
Be sure to emphasize the aspects of our hope which are of the most value. I believe it would be wrong to value the gold streets in heaven more than valuing the lovingkindness and mercy we receive from God.
Psalm 130 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption.
We do well when we rightly understand the glories of being redeemed and the value of having our sins forgiven. We do well when we hope in seeing God face to face and enjoying His presence. Don’t be disappointed if the mansion Jesus is building is not really a building but a metaphor of being in the presence of God. Hope rightly.
4) Know the promises
The only way to hope rightly is to read and understand the Bible. God has plainly spoken about what we are to hope in. Take time to abound in hope by search out God’s promises and God’s ways and making them your own.
As you read, let the Word of God bring you joy and peace. Just as Romans 15:13 says, may the God of hope give you joy and peace in believing.
5) Allow hope to give direction and meaning in life
Being a Christian is not easy work. But hope gives the work meaning. Paul told Timothy we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God (1 Timothy 4:10).
Hope gives us direction for holiness, “everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).
1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Prepare our minds for action. Fix our hope on grace.
6) Hope is necessary for persevering
Life will give challenges. We need to dwell upon hope so we are able to persevere through the challenges we will face as believers. Our hope is a gift from God.
Hebrews has a few verses which help us understand this.
Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil (brings us into God’s presence)
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
7) Hope gives power for living
Little hope equals little reason to live. Much hope gives much reason to live. We need to help people to see hope. People who are hurting, in pain, who have despair need hope. Help people see there is real hope in this world. Help people to see the difference between the false hopes the world promises and the true hope found in the Scriptures.
8) Hope pleases God
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God. And those who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
God is a rewarder. This is an essential belief for our faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evident of things not seen.
We do not see yet what we hope for. But our faith proves we believe it exists. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is believing.
Put all this together. When our hope is at its utmost, we can’t get hope out of our mind, and we live and breathe looking forward to the glory that will be revealed in us, then we are pleasing to God. When we look at circumstance of our life and we do not despair, or complain, and we give glory to God; we demonstrate we have hope in future good. We do demonstrate God is our rock and our fortress and come what may, it doesn’t matter, because ultimately eternity will arrive and we will be with our savior. Go ahead, life, throw whatever you want at us, we have our God and He is working all things for our good.
Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
Questions for Home Fellowship
- What Scripture passages help to cultivate and give us confidence in our hope in God?
- Have you, or someone you know, ever experienced hopelessness?
- Is there a time in your life where you placed your hope in the wrong place?
- What are some examples of hoping rightly in God? Hoping wrongly?
- Share a situation where your hope in God was helpful for your perseverance.
- In what ways does hope give direction in life?
- What is the relationship between faith and hope?
- How does our hope in God glorify God?
- How might we cultivate more conversations about hope in our church, family, and life?
- How is your life impacted by this passage (what will you do differently; how do you think differently; what causes you to worship God more)?