A New Free Easter Sermon About the Gift of Hope
Having pastored for over forty years, I have enjoyed writing several Easter sermons. It is always such an encouraging time of the year to truly reflect on God’s love. Since Easter is quickly approaching, below is an excerpt from my Easter sermon (called Bring Hope to Life). The full free Easter sermon (along with over fifteen other free sermons and encouraging updates) are available, click here for those. I pray you enjoy the excerpt below and are blessed by the free sermons.
Bring Hope to Life Free Easter Sermon Excerpt:
The Need for Hope:
The human spirit needs hope to survive and thrive. The writers of the Bible recognized the need for hope. More than 2,500 years ago, King Solomon wrote, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life,” (Proverbs 13:12, ESV).
Today we are going to talk about bringing hope to life. We need to know how we can have hope even when it seems that life is kicking the hope out of us.
First, let’s be sure we understand what the Bible means when it talks to us about hope.
What is Hope?
Hope is not wishful thinking.
Wishful thinking is when we try to hope things in or out of existence. It’s when we blow the candles out on our birthday cake and say, “I hope I stay healthy for another year.” Or it’s when we have the family picnic planned and we say, “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” Or we read business pages in the paper and think, “I hope my stock prices go up.”
It’s kind of a hopeful feeling that maybe, somehow, some way, things will go the way we want them to, even though we really don’t have any power to make it happen. It can’t change reality. It can make us feel better for a while, but it can’t make things happen.
Hope is not mere optimism.
It’s good to have a generally optimistic outlook, but some optimists ignore reality. They hide their problems like they don’t exist; they pretend that everything is all right with the world and they are fine all the time.
It’s like the parents of two young sons. One of the boys was a terrible pessimist, the other an incurable optimist. The parents were getting worried because each son’s personality was so extreme. One year around Christmas, the father said, “We need to do something to break them out of their molds.” So, the parents filled up the pessimist’s room with dozens and dozens of brand new toys and they filled up the optimist’s room with horse manure, hoping this would change their attitudes.
Well, the children went to their rooms for a couple of hours and then the pessimist came out, and the parents asked, “Did you play with your new toys?”
The pessimist moaned, “No, I never even opened the packages. I was afraid that if I touched them, they’d just beak, and I’d be disappointed.”
Then the optimist came bounding out of his room that had been filled with horse manure and he was all smiles. His dad said, “How come you’re so happy?”
The little boy smiled and said, “I just know that if I keep digging long enough, I’m going to find the pony.”1
Well, biblical hope is more than that kind of blind optimism.
Biblical hope is confidence in the promises of God. For most people hope is something they do, but the Bible often talks about hope as something we can have. It is something we can possess. We can grab onto hope.
For someone who follows Jesus Christ, hope is the confident expectation that God is willing and able to fulfill the promises He has made to us. It has the element of certainty to it. And when you have this kind of hope, you have assurance and security.
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