Writer of Proverbs
April 16, 2019 / Main Street Church
that said it so well, (Slide) “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12. Maybe you
Maybe At School-
Or on a Trip- Are we there yet? Kids and parents say this!
Or a Visit- How many more days until your Mother leaves?
- Hope deferred, (Slide) Mahshak- When it is drawn out too long many simply lose hope.Colombian Newspaper, April 3; 42% of Clark County 12th graders reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year, 38% of 10th Hope deferred.
- This morning we want to , but maybe this Easter your hope is deferred, drawn out, dragged out, Mashak! It certainly was that first Easter.
- (The struggles of life lead to hope deferred. The difficulties we face, the disappointments we have, the trials, failures and losses we endure causes us to lose hope, to despair, to want to give up.)
There were three individuals whose hope was not only deferred, their hope was lost.
- was desperate, 20:1,2. (page 89 in pew Bible) Jesus died on the cross and she helped prepare the body for burial, but they weren’t finished and had to wait until Sabbath was over. So she comes at dawn on that first day to finish the job but His body is gone! Here’s a woman whom Jesus had cast 7 demons out of her. She has come to show her last act of love and now, she believes, someone has snatched His body. Hope deferred, hope lost.
- , Jesus’ disciple doubted- Haven’t there been times when you have doubted? You have doubted yourself. Doubted what others believed. Jesus appeared to the disciples that evening but Thomas wasn’t there. Thomas is like the Eeyore of the disciples. When Jesus wanted to go into Jerusalem when they were threatening to kill him, Thomas said, (Slide) “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.” John 11:12. Now when they told him that Jesus was alive, he doubts them, John 20:25.
- But it’s who publicly and repeatedly denied the Lord. Let me ask you a question, “Have you ever lied?” Of course you have! We’ve all told lies- to our family, to our friends, to others, to ourselves. We kid ourselves to think that our lies will never catch up with us, but they do. God hears us in our lies. Peter denied the Lord and it was killing him. (Slide) “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” Luke 22:61. The same thing happens to you when you lie, when you fail, when you choose to do things on your own.
Transition: Do you see?
(Slide) The struggles of life lead to hope deferred. The difficulties you face, the disappointments you have, the trials, the failures and losses you endure causes you to lose hope, to despair, to want to give up.
- Maybe you have despaired- Grieving the loss of a friendship, a job, or a loved one. The disappointment of not measuring up, of not being included. When people lose hope, they lose their ability to dream for the future. Despair replaces joy. Fear replaces faith. Insecurity replaces confidence. Tomorrow’s dreams are replaced by nightmares. It’s a lousy way to live. Mary despaired. Have you?
- Maybe you have doubted- Many of us live with doubt; we doubt ourselves, we question the motive of our friends, family and others who seek to speak into our lives. Mashak- hope deferred, drawn out, to the point of hopelessness.
- Maybe you have denied and lied- We lie to others and we lie to ourselves. We lie to avoid getting in trouble, we lie to look good. We lie and think that none of it will matter. But it’s in the quiet moments of our life when we turn off the noise and the lights that our thoughts begin to haunt us. Why did I say that? What’s going to happen now? Who am I? Peter was in denial and it haunted him.
- (Slide) But Easter is about hope realized. Here’s the good news; Jesus came to be our living Hope!
- (Slide) When you realize that your Savior lives it turns despair to joy, John 20:16-18.
- Mary went from despair to joy. Those times of despair and even hopelessness become the very place where your story becomes part of God’s greater story.
- – The loss of a job you thought was God punishing you but it actually set your life in a different direction; a place where your skills, your personality and gifting made this new career a perfect fit. Your best friend moved away but God brought other people in your life that impacted you in ways you would never have known. The death of a loved one was when you heard that God loves you and sent His Son, Jesus, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and that if you surrender and believe in Him, you, like your loved one, will have eternal life.
- (Slide) When you realize that your Savior lives it turns your doubt to belief.
- For a week Thomas is doubting the other disciples, and then on the eighth day, 20:26-29. From doubt to belief. From hesitation to hope, from “I don’t believe you” to “My Lord and My God.”
- We all have times of doubt. Doubts are the stepping stones to greater understanding and belief. Doubts cause us to look at ourselves, to look at life and examine what is true and what is not. For some of you, you’ve been living with a doubt about Jesus. – We have a copy of A Case For Easter. For those who have doubted, make sure you grab a copy on the way out.
He turns despair into hope, He turns doubt to belief, but what will God do when you fail?
What will happen when your lies are exposed?
- (Slide) When you realize that your Savior lives it turns denial into your living hope. (With Builds, below) Peter leaves Jerusalem and heads home to Galilee to go fishing and takes some disciples with him. 21:5-7. Jesus rose from the dead and He shows up, not to condemn but to restore. Peter has fled in shame, Jesus pursue with love. He comes to Peter, blesses Peter with a huge catch of fish and invites Peter to breakfast. Do you see how Jesus is our living hope? He’s our living hope in …
- (Slide) That your past can be forgiven. Appl.- The whole message of the Bible is this idea of God wanting to bring about the restoration of relationship with people like you and me. As someone has said, (Slide) “The Bible starts out right, it ends right, but the middle of it is about God at work to make things right.” We are flawed, we are frail, and we all fail. Yet God loves us and sent His Son to make us right with Him. He wants to make wrong things right. He comes to show your past can be forgiven.
- (Slide) That your problems can be solved. Jesus is not finished restoring Peter, 21:13,14. They are eating fish but there’s an elephant in the room. Food loses flavor when there is unfinished stuff going on, right? What will Jesus do with failure? He shows that your past can be forgiven and that your problems can be solved, vs.15. Jesus isn’t rubbing His nose in his failure, He’s helping him see that his failure isn’t final, it’s forgiven. Notice how he restores Peter publicly and repeatedly so the disciples hear and know what Jesus thinks, vs.16,17. Love Me? Tend (feed) My lambs. Love Me? Shepherd My sheep. Love Me? Tend My sheep. Peter, who denied, is forgiven and made the leader in establishing God’s church. Appl.- Failure isn’t final, it’s rarely fatal, unless you choose to give up. We’ve all failed, that’s why God sent His Son, to forgive us and set us free from sin so we can have life with Him forever. He’s our living hope.
Your past can be forgiven, your problems can be solved…
- (Slide) Your future can be secured, 21:18,19.
- Jesus prophecies about Peter’s future. A time of freedom to minister as he pleases, a time when he would be looking and asking others to help him, and a time when he would be taken away by force. Peter will not only be the future leader of the church, where others will help him, but also how he will die. Like Jesus, Peter was arrested and crucified, but according to tradition, Peter requested to be crucified upside down for he didn’t feel himself worthy to be crucified in the same way as the Lord.
- And you would think that this would humble Peter and shut him up. But you would be wrong! He now wants to know about John the disciple, “What about Him”? Jesus repeats Himself to make sure Peter gets it, 21:21,22. Follow Jesus! Don’t worry about what God is going to do with John or anyone else, Peter, you follow Me. That’s what Jesus is saying to you today. Appl.- Don’t compare yourself with others, don’t envy them, don’t focus on them but follow Jesus and do what God wants you to do. Jesus wants to be your Living Hope if you will believe and follow Him.
- Each of us has a story worth telling but has your story crossed paths with God’s greater story?
- Jesus can be your living hope by turning your sorry to hope, your doubts to belief and your failures to forgiveness. How? By embracing this truth that your Savior lives. I’s as easy as A,B.C.
- Refer to the comment cards. The ushers will come in just a moment. How can we help you? Want to know more? Committing? Renewing? Baptism? Discovery Class.
- As you mark your cards the ushers are coming forward to collect them. Listen to Cindy as she shares her Living Hope story