HOPE IN FAITH

IS GOD IN CHURCH?
February 18, 2022
THE SIGNPOST
March 12, 2022

Are you a believer in God? If you are, do you find hope in faith? Hope stirs emotion within each of us. Hope is often sought after while a person is suffering. Hope often follows suffering.

Genesis 15:1-6 After these things happened, the Lord spoke his word to Abram in a vision: “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you and I will give you a great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me? I have no son so my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.” Abram said, “Look, you have given me no son, so a slave born in my house will inherit everything I have.” Then the Lord spoke spoke his word to Abram: “He will not be the one who will inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own who will inherit what you have.” Then God led Abram outside and said,” Look at the sky. There are so many stars, you cannot count them. Your descendants will also be too many to count.” Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abram’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” It showed his hope in God.

The Christian suffers like every other person. Some people feel that if they follow Christ, they will be released from suffering, illness, and defeat. This is a falsehood. However, Christians have hope! The Christian hope is based on the conviction that God is leading our lives. History shows us that His plan is better than our plan. History is “His-Story”. God’s purpose over rules all the events in history to move us forward. 

Churches have been shrinking in the past few years. Through God’s grace, this church through attendance in person and in zoom, has grown! God moves us forward for his purpose in the world! God began our history and he will help us reach the goal that he has planned for us. He will return to view our work.

Jesus gives us hope. 1Peter and 2Peter are full of references of the return of Jesus. 1Peter 1:6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  

1Peter 4:13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

2Peter 3:9-13 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

As Christians, living hope =a living God. The living hope is a major these of Peter’s first letter.  Peter wants to encourage us all to be hopeful. Why is that?  It’s because both he and we believe in Jesus!             1Peter 3:15″But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts.  Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope that you have.”  

1Peter 1:1 begins with these words “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” Some scholars have questioned whether a common fisherman could have penned this letter, especially because both Peter and John were termed “unschooled ordinary men.” This description only suggests that they were without formal education and status.  We must never underestimate the three years of training that Peter received from Jesus. Nor should we minimize what the Holy Spirit could do in Peter’s life as well as in our lives. 

1Peter 1:3 is the key verse in this letter. It says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  This message of living hope was given to people who appeared to have no reason for hope.  Peter was writing to Christians who had scattered throughout Asia because they faced violent persecution. It is also written to us and for us today.  God fulfilled his promise to Abram. He will fulfill his promises to us today. He gives us hope!