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I Choose Joy - Understanding the Power of Hope, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
November 21, 2022 5:00 am

I Choose Joy - Understanding the Power of Hope, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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November 21, 2022 5:00 am

Someone has rightly said, adversity either makes us or breaks us. What makes the difference? The answer is a simple four letter word. Chip tells us what that word is and how it can help us rise above the most difficult circumstances in our lives and experience joy!

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It has been said that we can live a few weeks without food, a few days without water, but only a few minutes without hope. We all have something or someone that sustains us and gives us hope.

Here's my question. Where's your hope? We're going to talk today about a hope that can never let you down. Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram.

Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. I'm Dave Druey, and today we're continuing our series, I Choose Joy. Last time, Chip talked about a close friend whose faith in the face of incredible trials inspired him. So if you missed that program, let me encourage you to go back and listen to it when you get a chance. It's really encouraging.

Now you can easily do that through the Chip Ingram app. Okay, let's join Chip for part two of his message, Understanding the Power of Hope. He begins by reminding us of the three ways God delivered people in the Bible and how he still does it today.

Well, let's dive in. Deliverance number one, he delivers us out of the adversity or the difficulty. Number two is he delivers us through them.

Jot down 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verses 9 and 10. This is what Paul is experiencing. He tells us that he had this amazing experience and so that he wouldn't get proud, he was given a thorn in his flesh. Everyone postulates and guesses, is it malaria?

Is it an eye disease? We don't know what it is, but all we know is that there was a bad back situation that he was struggling with and he was in pain all the time. And God did not, and he prayed. I mean, Paul's got a pretty effective prayer life, wouldn't you agree? And he asked God in faith, believing, take it away, take it away, take it away. And God said, no, no, no.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. And then Paul's attitude changed and realized sometimes God wants to do a deeper thing in us and he doesn't deliver us out of it, he delivers us through it. And as he delivers us through it, he refines us and our faith grows and our character changes and it's very difficult and he gives us a joy and a contentment and a peace that's unexplainable externally apart from a living God doing something inside of you. The third way that God delivers us is unto himself. We were talking about this as pastors, we were going over the study earlier this week. And one of the guys in the group said, you know what's kind of odd is that in our day we think the worst thing that could ever happen to a person is they die.

And that doesn't seem to be Paul's perspective. Christ gets exalted whether I live or whether I die and a little bit later we're going to read that he's not sure whether he's going to stick around or die but the dilemma he thinks it's far better to be with Christ. I've had both my parents die of debilitating, painful, long diseases. When my parents died by the time they got to where they died it was Lord thank you.

To watch them live through what they were living through at that level was really really painful. And Psalm 116 says precious in the eyes of the Lord are the death of his godly ones. You see if all there is is now temporal and someone you love dies I got news you got nothing.

You got nothing. But if in fact there is an eternity, if there really is a heaven, if what Jesus told the disciples the very last night that allowed them to hang tough and hang on no matter what there's an eternity there's a heaven that it's real then it's pretty interesting. It sustains you. And it's sad and it's hard and we lose those that we love and that's why sharing Christ is so important. That's why if you're here or you're watching or you're listening and you've never put your faith in Christ you need to know that you're going to be in heaven.

And that's not something from trying to be a nice little good person or being a bit moral. Your sins have got to be completely covered. You have to receive the gift of Christ dying on the cross for you in your place and turn from your sin, repent and ask Christ to forgive you and come into your life and he will. And you can know for sure the first reason Paul has joy in the midst of these horrendous circumstances his deliverance is certain. And he's certain that by the grace of God he is going to be faithful.

He is certain that he's going to be bold in his faith right until the end and he's certain that whether he lives and gets to go on and minister more or whether he dies and is immediately ushered into the presence of Christ that he knows that's his hope. But the next reason is equally powerful. The second reason that he has this joy is his source of joy is unshakable.

It's unshakable. Circumstances go up, they go down. Incomes go up, incomes go down.

Hurricanes come, hurricanes go, earthquakes come, earthquakes go, economies go up, economies go down. Marriages are good, marriages aren't so good. Kids do great things that make you proud, kids do some terrible things that make you sad.

You're healthy and working out and doing a triathlon this year and next year they got a biopsy report and they got tubes running in you. Circumstances up, circumstances down. You either live your life like a little quirk on the waves of circumstances of the sea of life or you live your life with that leaning eagerly expectation and anchor of your soul hope that there's a heaven and there's a God and there are promises and he will sustain me and as I trust him and that's what Paul does. His joy, the source of it is unshakable. He says for me to live is Christ.

Temporal, eternal. To die is gain. If I'm to live on in the body this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose?

I don't know. I'm torn between the two. I'm hard pressed from both directions. Having the desire to depart and be with Christ for that is very much better yet to remain on the flesh is more necessary for your sakes. And then he kind of comes to this moment and convinced of this as the Spirit of God is speaking to me as I'm writing this letter as I'm processing. He says I know that this will turn out that I'll remain and continue with you all.

Why? For your progress and is this guy like crazy? Who's he concerned about? Your joy in the faith so that your proud confidence in me can abound in Christ through my coming to you again. For to me to live is Christ. To die is gain. Paul lives, there's two platforms in life. You look at life from this platform of time or you look at life at this platform from eternity. And he says in time it's Christ and if it's Christ I'm going to continue to serve because unlike American Christianity he thinks the goal of life is to love God and to serve him and to know him and to enjoy him and to share that with as many people as you can before you die and to model the kind of life for you and your friends or if you're married your children so that the most important thing is not what school you go to, not how much money you make, not what you look like, what other people think, but the most important thing is that Christ is the center of your heart and life and you are actually reflecting what he's like.

It's called his glory. Everybody and everything revolves around something. It's interesting you know take a microscope and right you know you've got the center of the nucleus and those electrons are going around it and now they've got super powerful ones and there's stuff inside of that things going around or you know all the planets go around the sun.

They found now that our solar system and our sun actually goes around an axel star. Everything in life goes around something. The question is what does your life go around? Paul said my life goes around the living Christ. He's my anchor and so if I live it's for him and if I die it's gain. I'm immediately translated into the presence of Christ. No soul sleep, no purgatory, no waiting. I die instantaneously. I'm in the presence of Christ and then he begins to think and ponder about wow what should I do?

I'm hard-pressed from both directions. He desires to part and be with Christ. I don't think many of us would say that if we're just honest right? See I don't think Christianity was a religion for Paul. I don't think it was a moral statement. I don't think it was I want to do really good in this life and it has a lot of good byproducts and produces good things and it's important. I think Christianity for Paul was a life transforming moment of a relationship connected to God and he loved God and he got to know even though he never met. I mean we have some visions that he has but he didn't he didn't meet him face to face as far as we know but the Spirit of God living in him just like he lives in us who are followers. He cultivated that and he cultivated it by he took that Old Testament and God revealed to him and those are this is his word and he cultivated a tenderness to hear the Spirit of God and follow it and he was always living in community. In other words it was his relationship and he thought you know I have this I've got this barrier still I still have this barrier I've tasted and I've seen and he's changed me and he's revealed things but I have this barrier it would be better to be face to face but his heart is one of I want to do whatever you want me to do and these Philippians they could use some good teaching still they're still messed up you know these two ladies are arguing with each other and under pressure they're not doing so well in fact I'm gonna write them pretty soon about humility and loving each other because they're kind of at each other's throats so Lord plan A I'll be with you awesome plan B I'll stay here as long as you want I think God must want me to stay notice the secret is his vantage point I looked this up in the dictionary and I loved it it a vantage is a position or situation more advantageous than opponents that's one definition but I think the second one has much more application for us a position that allows a clear broad view understanding a vantage point in other words what you need to understand it's not just where's your hope but it's from where are you looking for your hope Paul had been beaten at least three times left for dead once overnight in the ocean been in prison deeply discouraged I'm not reading into the text if you read second Corinthians pretty carefully and look at acts he's probably clinically depressed at one point just has almost is almost at the end of his rope and his words knocked down but not out and then he says this in second Corinthians chapter four because I think this is the greatest thing that we need out of this passage in our life is not to lose heart therefore we do not lose heart but though our outward man is decaying yet our inner man is being renewed day by day for a momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison while we notice perspective words now look and see while we look not at the things which are seen but we look at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal but there's a couple questions we need to answer as we close where's your hope see ask yourself what really gets you discouraged ask ask yourself when you're frustrated when you're angry and when you're mad is your hope in a perfect marriage is your hope and upward mobility is your hope and what what school your kids get in or how they're doing in their grades is your hope in your body and how you look come on this is just us in here don't look at me like that come on now we all here's the thing God loves us so much he's saying don't be stupid instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches America the uncertainty of riches but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy it's not that money's bad it's not that success is bad but they make really bad gods they make great idols and what idols do is destroy idol worshipers so that the question for every believer in this room is what's my life really going around not what I say it's going around or not what I think it's going around and if you want to know just go home and check your finances then go check where you go on the internet and then go check where your time goes and check who are your closest friends and what do you talk about and you'll know exactly what your life is going around you can sing I love Jesus and come to church and try and be a good person and your life really go around a married person your kids your work your money your future and your stuff and we all do it so God brought us here together on this day to repent of that for some of you he brought you today to give you the biggest gift you'll ever receive in your life eternal life you don't have an eternal hope well you've got temporal stuff and you might be successful you might even be moral but I'll tell you what add cancer and a week to live you better have what's on the other side of this wall and so he just brought you here to say it's really not that complicated yes you lose control to an all-knowing all-powerful good God who so demonstrated his love he died in your place rose from the dead and for 2,000 years has been transforming the world and now he wants to transform you father thank you for how good and how kind thank you that you love us God I thank you that as hard as life has been and as many mistakes as I have made I've just seen thousands upon thousands upon thousands and myself included experience a hope that no difficulty or tragedy or challenge can change and so I want to pray now for those that would say you know I'm not sure whether I have eternal life and if that's you I would like you to bow your heart your eyes are already closed but bow your heart and be as honest as you can be and say almighty God I'm the God of my life and I'm running my life and I repent I ask you now to forgive me of all my sins past present and future I believe that when Jesus died on the cross he died for my sins and rose from the dead I accept that gift and ask you to come into my life right now and then give me the courage to tell someone this very day Lord help me to understand your word as you start to speak to me and God would you please provide a community of friends to help me grow and if you're a follower and you realize some of those idols have crept in would you just tell God no more I need a hope that won't change I need a future that's secure and then would you covenant with God to tell at least one person before the sun goes down on this day this is a baby step I'm taking to make Jesus the center of what my whole life goes around and you probably need some help to get there. Before we go any further today I want to pause and give you the opportunity that I gave the people in our church when I taught this maybe the Spirit of God is speaking to you and there's a real battle going on in your heart right now and you're saying oh God what would this look like in my life today if I put all my hope in you you know I travel a lot and I get to meet people and I am both surprised amazed and so deeply encouraged by how many people will tell me you know I was driving in my car and just pushing some buttons and you came on and as I listened God spoke to me and it was in my car or while I was on the treadmill that I actually paused and recognized for the first time that I needed Jesus that I needed forgiveness that I needed to hope that would never go away and I actually in that moment paused I stopped and I confessed my sin and in the name of the Lord Jesus I ask him to forgive me if you have never done that today is the day of salvation God is speaking to you he knows all about your life all about your struggles all about your fears all about the things that you're ashamed of that are in your past and he's saying to you come unto me I want to forgive you I came for you I lived a perfect life I died in your place upon the cross to take all of the sins that you've committed and place them on me but you need to receive this as a free gift by faith and so if you want to do that in your heart of hearts you can speak to God oh God today I believe Jesus died in my place to pay for my sin and I'm asking you to come into my life and forgive me to make me your son to make me your daughter I believe that you paid for my sin on the cross and you rose from the dead to prove that it's true I want to follow you with all my heart and with all my strength please give me your power and I want you to know that the God who created all that there is cares for you and at this moment the biggest and most important thing you can do is to share that with the best Christian you know the scripture says that believing in our heart and professing with our mouth we are saved he wants to love you and help you and encourage you you need to find a great bible teaching church this weekend and then come to us at livingontheedge.org that's livingontheedge.org and we have some free resources to help you begin to grow in your brand new relationship with the God who loves you thanks Chip well if you just prayed to receive Christ we do have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands it's called Starting Out Right now this is a tool that'll help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to put your faith in Jesus request this free resource by calling us at 888-333-6003 or by visiting livingontheedge.org then clicking on the new believers button that's livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003 let us help you get started in your faith journey now before we go Chip's still with me here in studio and Chip I can see you're wanting to jump in here for a second and share one last thing with our listeners thanks Dave I want to talk to those of you who partner with us financially your gifts help us not just stay on the air but they provide the necessary funding to create curriculum and develop our website and provide resources at extraordinarily reasonable prices I mean your giving is making an amazing impact so thank you very very much and for those of you that are enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge but you haven't yet become a financial partner would you consider doing that today your gifts are going to get invested right back into the ministry to assist us to develop resources stay on the air and help Christians live like Christians I mean is there ever a day when we need to make a difference well it's now will you help us thanks Chip well as you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry I want to remind you that every gift is significant when you partner with Living on the Edge you multiply our efforts and resources in ways that only God can do to send a gift go to livingontheedge.org or text the word donate to 74141 it's that easy text donate to 74141 or visit livingontheedge.org app listeners just tap donate as we close you know a great way to stay engaged and connected to Chip and Living on the Edge is through the Chip Ingram app you'll get free access to Chip's most recent series his message notes and much more and not only that but it couldn't be easier to connect with us directly from the app until next time this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-21 05:40:16 / 2022-11-21 05:48:35 / 8

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