Take Heart and Have Hope. (Psalm 71:1-5)

Pastor Anthony Bacino, March 29, 2020
Part of the Preaching series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

I understand that family members, friends, co-workers and maybe you are overwhelmed and stressing over the covid-19 virus. It has for now changed all our lives but this too shall pass.
I read this week that David Barlow, professor of psychology at Boston University remarked on Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. “Yes, a little anxiety is normal, but constant worry is not. Instead of succumbing to GAD a child of God can succumb to “Goodness Overwhelming Daily” — GOD. God is good all the time; all the time God is good.
During Jesus itinerant ministry his disciples were experiencing feelings of distress because of danger and misfortune. Jesus reassured them, telling them not to be afraid and to take courage. He wanted them to realize that it made very little sense for them to carry their worries when they could cast them on God who cared deeply about what happened to them. When we’re feeling breathless with anxiety, we can rest assured in Jesus’s power.
Let God be responsible for your anxieties. Stop worrying and start trusting Him completely. (Proverbs 3:5, 6) We will get through this difficult time together encouraging, praying and helping each other. We cannot fail in our faith we must implement hope.
We all saw in 2005 the devastation of hurricane Katrina. National Guardsmen confiscated guns, knives and letter openers from people before they got on the buses to be evacuated. People lost hope! When that happens they can become dangerous. Stories of looting, shootings and passing blame surfaced because many thought it was beyond hope. The Bible teaches us that principle it states in Proverbs 13:[12] Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect that hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned.
The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they had hope! Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives.
When people lose hope they become desperate and heart sick. I want to talk to you on the subject Take Heart and Have Hope.

I. What is Hope?
1. In the New Testament the word translated hope means confident expectation.
Hope is the glue that keeps us together in the midst of adversity, trials and suffering! Everyone needs to have hope! For hope is the opposite of despair and defeat. Everyone needs hope and we Christians must be people of hope and sewers of its Divine virtue during this difficult time.
2. Hope is mention in the Old Testament 68 times and in the New Testament 58 times. So 121 times we find hope in the Bible. It must be an important subject. In Job it appears 16 times.
Psalms 31[24] Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalms 71: [5] For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
Psalms 119 :[81] My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.
Psalms 119 : [114] Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
“147:[11] The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
3. ” Unbelievers are without this hope (Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 4:13. Many people despair when all is lost, but for the believer all is never lost with Christ. People need hope to live to know Christ is to live with hope. If there is any one word beside “Love” that should be predominate to a Christians it is the word Hope! We need to spread it around, we need to spread it now.
II Jesus is the Only Hope for Hopelessness -Hebrew 6: 17-29
1) Hope is not a word that means a mere possibility, a good chance. Hope, as it is used in the Scriptures is speaking of a ringing certainty. That is the certain hope of everyone who has been justified by faith. If you really have been justified by faith, you know that you have the promises of God. You can endure as Job did for you know the end of the Lord… he is good.
2. If our joy is found in the Lord, nothing can disrupt it. Not a natural disaster economic distress or even a virial pandemic. We were once hopelessly bound to an existence without God and without His Christ. We know now we have an inheritance undefiled… Life may be cold and hard, it may be filled with pain and sorrow, but the minimum promise to all who are justified by faith is that there is a glory beyond that is absolutely certain.
b) For now we must pray for those without hope and do all we can to show the light of Christ. We must be the good Samaritans and do good and spread hope for thousands of American and others that have been affect by the corvonia virus. We do it by doing what we can… we can all pray and give and go the extra mile to reach out and give hope to others.
3. Too many Christians going around like there is no tomorrow. Your hope is in the here and now. Hope is when we do our very best to keep life as normal as possible, continuing school working at home worshipping the best way we can
Hope is seen when the Republicans and Democrats work together to put a health and financial relief package together to help fight this virus.
Hope is seen when church members help one another, going to the grocery store participating in prayer service by telephone and calling and encouraging each other . This hope is at it best.
4. In our society hope often carries the weak idea of wishful thinking. We say, “I hope so” and often mean “I doubt so.” But when you read that word in the New Testament understand that we are talking about a firm expectation.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began
That kind of hope has a profound influence on the way we live. Hope Floats! It rises above the adversities. Eternal hope infuses us now with the ability to turn our eyes away from the glitter and attraction of the world to a much, much greater Light.

Some of us are weak in the face of temptation because our hope tank is on empty. We are gnawing on the husk of earthly things trying to get inspired and failing to see the great big WHY of it all. Learn to draw strength from the possibilities God has set before you.
We have seen a divided nation destroying itself and God has allowed a pandemic to force this nation to work together to trust it leadership to seek Him and pray.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
But when the rhythm of my days is rooted in reliance on Him, I bear good fruit. Patience and hope characterize my interactions with others. The God who has revealed Himself to us is our source of strength, wisdom, joy, understanding, and peace. — Dr. Mark DeHaan


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Psalm 71:1-5

1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. 2Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. 3Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. 4Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 5For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. (KJV)

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