Our Hope In Christ

What keeps us going is the faithfulness of Jesus being all that we need Him to be. We can trust Him.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:3, Psalms 37


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? I’m so grateful for the privilege of fellowship with you. It’s just as though I was sitting in your kitchen. You and I sitting across the kitchen table and looking at the Word of God and sort of visiting together, or else it’s as though I were riding with you in your car as you go to work, and of course some of you, you’re just waking up. What an awful thought – to wake up to Bob Cook’s voice! My heart goes out to you. Well, however, I’m glad for the privilege, grateful for the privilege of being with you and the Word.

Now, we’re looking at 1 Thessalonians and Paul says, in his prayers, “he remembers without ceasing their work of faith” – that’s a product based upon the energy that faith gives – and “labor of love” – and that’s intense labor involving trouble and toil – and then he says “your patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” It isn’t “patience of hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God.” It’s “patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul says it this way. Peter says it “You’ve been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

He says to the people of Colossae, “When Christ who is our hope shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” So “Christ our hope,” “Christ our life,” he says in another place to the Colossians. What is the point here? The thing that will keep you going – patience – has a Greek word “hupomone,” which means “stay down, don’t give up or blow up.” “Hupomone” is “stay down, stay under, patience of hope in our Lord Jesus.” Why? Because He never broke a promise yet. He said “If I go away, I’ll come back.” All of His promises have been kept. All of the prophecies concerning His first advent were fulfilled precisely as they were given and on time. God got the whole Roman Empire moving for taxation purposes in order that the Lord Jesus Christ might be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Mary and Joseph weren’t living there then; they were living in Nazareth, but they had to make that journey to Bethlehem because that was Joseph’s hometown, and that was the rule, and God got the whole Roman Empire moving so that that prophecy could be fulfilled.

Our Lord Jesus offered Himself in the triumphful entry into Jerusalem precisely at the close of the required number of weeks, of years prophesied by Daniel, the Prophet. Oh, all of these different things were exactly fulfilled. Jesus keeps His Word, and so it’s “patience of hope in our Lord Jesus.” He said “If I go away, I will come again and take you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” “We shall not all sleep and we shall be all changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, for the trumpet shall sound to the dead and Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Promise of our Lord Jesus’ second coming is very real to the Bible-believing Christian. Patience of hope in our Lord Jesus. Another reason for being patient, patient because you have hope in Him is that He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Said He, “Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the world.” He’ll never leave you. He said, “I will not leave you orphans” – you find this in John’s gospel – “not leave you orphans.” King James says, “comfortless,” that word “orphans.” “I will not leave you like little orphans in the world, I’ll come to you.” “If I go away, the comforter will come unto you, He shall teach you all things and bring to your memories all things whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The Holy Spirit of God indwelling the believer is living evidence of the trustworthiness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever thought of that? The fact that the believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit is living evidence of the trustworthiness of the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, the patience of hope in our Lord Jesus.

What will keep you going when the going is tough? Simply determination? Simply saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” and other similar helpful platitudes, is that going to see you through? No, no. What you need is to know that there is somebody who won’t let you down, who won’t leave you alone to yourself. You won’t be left desolate. As the Psalmist says, “none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.” All alone with nobody to care. Why? “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you.” The patience of hope.

Am I talking to somebody today who is fed up with life or people or situations or all of the above? And you feel just like giving up on life itself? Don’t do it. Jesus is still on the throne. He’s still there. He’s still your Savior. He is the advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. If you feel like you’ve blown it and there isn’t any help for you, Jesus is there to comfort and cheer just when you need Him most. Yes, He is. He’s not going to let you down. He won’t fail you. He never fails. The patience of hope in our Lord Jesus.

We have hope because He forgives. We have hope because He’s at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us. He is our advocate. We have hope because “He is able to save to the uttermost all them that cometh to God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” We have hope because He’s coming back again to take us to Himself. The dead will be raised and we will see Jesus, and we’ll see our loved ones once again. Hope. The patience of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

See, in hope, in people you get disappointed. You know, I have disappointed my friends and loved ones, I’m sure, many times. That is indeed to tell the truth each of us has. You hope in people, you get disappointed because we’re human beings. We get to the end of our ability, we get to the end of our strength. Someone wrote me the other day and said, “I’m in debt and I need $50,000. Would you please help me?” Well, if it hadn’t been so pitiful, I might have smiled. I wouldn’t know where to find $50,000 today, and most of you wouldn’t either, I guess.

But here are people with needs. What are you going to do? Well, I have to tell that person “I can’t help you, but I know there are two or three things you can do. Number one, you can lay the burden before the Lord. Number two, you can find somebody to refinance all of your debts and pay them off because you and your husband are working.” There are some things you can do, and so I come back to the text that I dwelt on some days ago when we were in Psalm 37: “Trust in the Lord and do good.” Why, why? What’s the combination? “Trust in the Lord” means turn it over to Him and then do what you can do. Do the right thing and God is going to see you through.

Evangelist Sam Jones, many years ago, in another century, used to say that a revival is not a real revival unless it’s a debt-paying revival. They told a story of an old farmer who got converted at one of his meetings, and said to his wife, said, “We’re going to pay our debts.” She said, “Why? We’ll starve.” He looked at her and he said, “We’re Christians now. We’re going to pay our debts, and if we starve we’ll just tell them we died of typhoid fever.” Well, they didn’t starve and God took care of them.

Turn the situation over to God, and then start doing the right thing, and God is going to see you through. Oh, the patience of hope in our Lord Jesus in present difficulties, and in heartaches, and in reversals, when your tears are falling, when you’re beset with fears. Listen, He is alive. Jesus is alive, and He cares, and He’s able to help. Call on Him today. Have you ever talked out loud to Jesus? Many of you I know have, cause I’ve been with you when you were praying to Him and in His name approaching the throne of grace. But some of the rest of us need to learn that. Talk to your Savior out loud. No, I don’t mean loudly; I mean audibly.

The effort that you make in verbalizing your prayer makes you think, and instead of just pious mumbling, you come out with concepts that really make some sense. Talk to your Savior, invite Him into the situation. You don’t have the answer to it, do you? This very day I was praying about some things to which I don’t have any human answer, and I remember saying early this morning, “Oh Father, I don’t know what to do about this, but You know and I’m just going to turn it over to You.”

My dear friend, when you do that, God begins to work. You may not see it this coming Thursday. God doesn’t pay all His debts on Tuesday, you know. You may not see it right away, but God begins to work in your life when you turn the situation over to Him. The patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, and then of course we know that He is coming again.

My father, Charlie Cook, lived in that hope for many years. He never stopped carrying the torch for his Daisy. The relative said that something seemed to snap in his personality when she left us. I was a baby of 16 months and my sister was just barely, a little over 11 years old, and he took his two motherless children and went back from California, back to Ohio and worked around here and there. And my sister Mildred kept house. Little slip of a girl, just about broke her – literally – to carry that responsibility, but she did it. And all through the years, he always spoke lovingly and oftentimes with tears of his Daisy. She must have been a wonderful lady. I hope to meet her soon after getting to Heaven.

Well, you know, in my high school days I had to cook supper for him, and he’d come home and he’d eat supper and then he’d sit in the rocking chair while I did the dishes, and he’d get out the song book and sing. He’d sing, “Oh, they tell me of a home far beyond the skies, Oh, they tell me of a home far away. Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise, Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.” Then he’d sing “I shall know Him, by the print of the nails in His hand.” Then, like as not, he’d swing around toward me and say, “You know, my boy, one of these days I’m going to meet your Mother, and we’ll walk down the golden streets together, and we’ll sing again the song we sang as a duet 10 days before she left us, “I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand.”

And like as not, a tear would roll down his cheeks, and then he’d smile and he’d look at me and say, “Hallelujah my boy.” And he lived in the patience of hope in our Lord Jesus ’cause he knew, as do I and as do many of you do, that God keeps His promise. And as Paul said, “to depart is to be with Christ; which is far better,” and if we are alive when the Lord Jesus comes, the Bible says, “them also which sleep in Jesus” – that’s all the believers that have died before that time – will God bring with Him.

“There’s going to be a meeting in the air, in the sweet, sweet by and by. I’m going to meet you, meet you over there, in the land beyond the sky. What singing there will be…” and so on.

Oh, yes, there’ll be a reunion, and you and I will know we’re known, and best of all Jesus our blessed Lord will be the center of it all. The patience of hope in our Lord Jesus. There’s hope for the here and now, and your heartaches, and your needs. There’s hope for tomorrow to allay your fears. There’s hope for eternity because Jesus lives. Hallelujah! It’s great, isn’t it? Oh, I love God’s Word.

Dear Father, thank you for the hope we have in Jesus. Oh, may we live our lives as unto Him and for Thy glory, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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