Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, was a day where multiplied millions gathered to celebrate life, not death, yet roughly 250 people lost their lives due to horrid attacks in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. How will the Christians in that country gather up their courage to come together to pray, worship, study the Scriptures and strengthen each other as a community of faith again?
Closer to home, a young man in the congregation I pastor was notified Easter morning that his mother had passed into eternity. Where will he find strength and comfort?
When problems, pain or pressure appear in your life unannounced and unwanted? How will you get through it and continue on living out the calling God has for you?
The Bible teaches that…
The anchor for your soul is HOPE!
The hope God gives is different than what most people call hope. For many, hope is simply wishful thinking, but not when God gives hope. The hope God gives is a confident expectation you count on that settles the soul because it is secure in Jesus Christ!
The letter of Hebrews reminded first century Christians of this hope during times of persecution.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain ~Hebrews 6:19
1. The Hope that Anchors your Soul
a. is not a Program, but a Person – JESUS CHRIST
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope ~1st Timothy 1:1
So, let me ask you, If Jesus is our hope, what kind of hope do we have? We have a LIVING Hope!
To understand this wonderful hope you have been given through Jesus Christ our LORD, let’s look at how Peter described this hope in his letter – 1 Peter. For emphasis, I have underlined some key phrases.
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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. ~1st Peter 1: 3-5
b. gives NEW LIFE – vs. 3
Your hope is given birth when we surrender your life to the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ by repenting of your sin and trusting Him completely for your forgiveness and eternal life.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit ~Titus 3: 4-5
He washes you. He renews you and He doesn’t stop working on you to become just like Himself.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:6
c. a NEW PURPOSE – vs. 3, 6
Once you have experienced the new birth, you come to a new realization, life isn’t about you anymore, now it is about you living for Him and being His ambassador until you are called home.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on, we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ~2nd Corinthians 5: 15-17
d. a NEW ETERNITY – vs. 4
This is why Christians do not have to fear death, Jesus has conquered it and He is preparing a place for you.
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also ~John 14: 1-3
e. a NEW COMFORT – vs. 5-6
Here is where your faith becomes solid and secure when you realize it is shielded by the power of God. Jesus Himself said that He never lost a single one who was ever given to Him! ~ John 17:12
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. ~John 6:37
If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ then take a few moments and declare the Big Take-Away out loud!
The Big Take-Away:
My Hope is STRONG and SURE because of the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ.
Remember, if death couldn’t stop Jesus, nothing can. He is with you! Hope on to Jesus….hold on to Hope!