Message from Pastor Rippert Roberts
There is always, always hope.
Hi this is Pastor Rip,
‘Tis the season of Advent – the celebration of the coming and the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Advent consists of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, and Christmas Day.
Traditionally, the Christian church has used the first two Sundays of Advent to anticipate the second coming of Christ and the last two Sundays to celebrate his first coming, as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem.
Different church traditions approach Advent in different ways, but I like to take the approach of focusing on the four key messages of the Christmas story: hope, peace, joy, and love.
This year, I’d like to offer an Advent message series based on these themes… And the first theme is hope.
The Bible has quite a lot to say about hope. Biblical hope has as its foundation faith in God.
The word hope in English often conveys doubt.
“I hope it will not rain tomorrow.”
In addition, the word hope is often followed by the word so.
That’s the answer that so may give when asked if they think that they will go to heaven when they die.
They say, “I hope so.”
However, that is not the meaning of the words usually translated “hope” in the Bible.
Biblical hope is a reality and not a feeling.
Biblical hope carries no doubt.
Biblical hope is a sure foundation on which we base our lives, believing that God always keeps His promises.
Hope or confident assurance can be ours when we trust the words, that we find in John 6:47 “He who believes on Me has everlasting life”. Accepting that gift of eternal life means our hope is no longer filled with doubt but, rather, has at its sure foundation in the entirety of God’s Word, the entirety of God’s character, and the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
During The Christmas season there are two things that seem to happen in relationship to hope.
The Christmas season highlights and makes more noticeable the hopefulness we can have when we follow Jesus, who came once, and who is coming again.
But this time of year also exposes the hopelessness that so many feel because of loneliness and losses.
Due to COVID-19 and the current economic conditions It’s a tough time of year for a lot of people financially, with winter coming on and the days getting shorter there’s less sunlight and therefore, a little less energy and a little more sadness.
I don’t have to tell many of you that (seasonal affective disorder is a real thing caused by a decrease in exposure to natural light).
If you find yourself struggling emotionally at this time of year, you may find it helpful to memorize this brief, powerful motto:
There is always, always hope.
Perhaps some of you have suffered from depression.
There may have been plenty of moments when the negative thoughts creep in. They can become overwhelming. One thing goes wrong and “everything” is wrong. One person offers criticism and “everyone” is against you.
You may even realize that these thoughts aren’t rational, but in the moment, they’re powerful.
What’s even more powerful, however,
is this truth…
there is always, always hope.
There is always, always hope because our Creator is alive and well.
He rules and reigns.
While we may suffer for a season,
His purposes will prevail.
There is always, always hope because Jesus died for our sins, offering us pardon and forgiveness for our crimes against our Creator and freedom from guilt and shame.
There is always, always hope because the Comforter, the Advocate, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, has come alongside us in our walk with God, and He never leaves.
There is always, always hope because the church advances forward, taking the gospel to new places and attacking global giants together.
There is always, always hope because Jesus is coming again.
He will reign forever in peace. All of our tears will be wiped away.
God loves you.
He never gives up on you.
He sees the best of you that you often can’t see for yourself.
He knows what your future can be from His perspective. (end)
He paid for your freedom with the price of his own Son, Jesus.
One of the encouraging phrases in the Bible about hope comes out of the story of Abraham’s desperate struggle to keep his faith in his old age while waiting to have a child. Romans 4:18 says, “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations.
For God had said to him,
“That’s how many descendants you will have!”
In spite of hopeless circumstances… (and that’s where you might find yourself today), Abraham kept on hoping, believing that God would be true to His own good nature and His promises.
And you, too, can count on that today!
God knows you. He knows your pain.
He knows your problems.
And He knows your potential.
Keep on going.
Keep on loving.
Keep on reaching out.
Keep on hoping!
God loves you.
And there’s always, always hope.
God bless you and heaven smile richly upon you.
Remember God loves you and we here at Grace-Point Fellowship love you too!