The Rest Of Hope
To direct hope to someone means to build hope on someone -- in turn, to rest in hope.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, friends, how in the world are you? Doing all right today? Oh, I trust so. I’ve just been praying that God would put His love and His Truth and His blessing in my voice and in my heart, so that what is said in this next few moments may minister directly to some need that you may have.
You and I are looking at 1 Timothy 4, “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God.” We were talking about that word “trust”, do you remember? It means to flee for refuge, it means to direct your hope in a certain direction, it means to build on your hope as building on a foundation.
And there’s one more concept that I discovered when I looked in my big Thayer’s Lexicon. It means to repose or to rest in hope. That’s a beautiful concept. We trust in the living God, that means we rest in Him. Writer to the Hebrews says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” You don’t have to be restless and constantly searching for something to satisfy when you’ve found rest in God. “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” Jesus said, “And I will give you rest. I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
The mark of the devil’s control is restlessness, and violence, and nudity. You can find that illustrated for yourself in the story of the man who lived in Gadara. The Lord Jesus came over into the country, the Gadarenes and was met by this poor victim of demon possession. He lived among the tombs. No man could tame him. They tried to bind him with chains and with that supernatural strength that was his, he even broke those fetters and was out in the tombs crying and cutting himself with stones. A miserable existence full of the occult, full of demons.
Don’t let anybody tell you that demons are not real. But then, don’t let anybody scare you as a believer that you might become a victim of them because greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. Jesus is our Victor, and you don’t have to fear the devil because He conquered Satan and all his hosts at the cross. Hallelujah.
But the forces of evil are real. And here was this man, under the control of satanic power. What is the trademark as we look at his miserable life? What is the trademark of satanic control? He was violent, no one could tame him. He was restless day and night, crying out, wandering about and he was nude, he didn’t wore any clothes. Does that sound familiar to you as you think about the day in which we live? Violence, do you know about violence? Many of you know too much about it, don’t you? In the neighborhood in which you live.
Someone wrote to me the other day and said, “I’m a Christian but I have been mugged three times recently. Why does God allow this?” Beloved, I don’t know why He allows it unless it is that He can trust you with it and make you a testimony to other people who are watching to see how much God can do for you. Violence, oh yes, it’s a violent world and we live in that kind of an atmosphere when Satan is in control, people are violent. And when Satan is in control, people are restless. Never satisfied, always searching, always reaching, never, never at peace, restlessness.
“The wicked,” God said through Isaiah, “are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” Mire and dirt, a muddy life full of the trash of the ocean. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked,” that’s what Isaiah said as God directed him. So the restlessness. And then nudity, you know about that. It would seem that we are in a society that just wants to take off all the clothes it can for whatever reason.
Interestingly enough, when Jesus saves a person, the Holy Spirit of God comes into dwell in that life and brings modesty with Him. A person who is full of the Holy Spirit will never be an exhibitionist. They just don’t go together. Modesty and the Holy Spirit go together.
So the trademark of the devil’s control is violence and restlessness and nudity. The trademark of the Holy Spirit’s control when Jesus threw the demons out that man’s life, it said, “People who came back found him clothed, seated at the feet of Jesus and in his right mind.”
Small thought here, don’t be afraid of what Jesus may do in your life. See, the Devil’s lie is that if you get too close to God, He’s going to cheat you out of something. That’s what he told Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. God is trying to cheat you out of something you could enjoy otherwise by disobeying him.
Don’t believe the Devil’s lie, don’t be afraid of what Jesus can do in your life. Today, open your arms wide and let the Lord Jesus Christ enter your life, your heart, your mind, all that you are, knowing that His touch always betters you, always improves you, always gives peace, always gives freedom from the terrible restless drive of sin. He does. Hallelujah. “I,” said He, “will give you rest.” So that’s your word “trust”, means to flee for refuge, to direct your hope to someone, to build your hope on someone, and to repose or to rest in hope. And it’s a living hope, Peter says, “Because Jesus our blessed Lord rose from the dead.” We’ve been born again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And so he speaks about the living God.
I asked my dear friend, Hubert Mitchell back in 19, whatever it was, ’47 or ’48. Said, “Hubert, you’ve been on the mission field and you’re now serving us in Youth for Christ as the overseas director. And you know the mission field and I’m going to go into different countries now and be speaking to people that haven’t heard the Gospel and I don’t want to make the mistakes that the new missionary might make.” I said, “Please give me the approach that I can use when I’m presenting the Gospel to people who may never have heard it before.” “Oh,” he said, “Bob, always talk about the living God because wherever you go, people know that there is a living God.”
Now, I found this to be so. Found it in Japan and India, found it in other parts of the world where people have not known the Gospel as we know it, they don’t know about God and His love but they do know there’s a living God.
When I was in Japan, I’d frequently start my talk by asking a question.”Imananjidesuka?”
“What time is it now?” They’d all look at their watches and I’d say, “How do you know what time it is?” “Oh, we set our clocks by the railroad clock. Our trains run on time.” And so indeed, they do. “Well, how does the railroad clock know what time it is?” “Oh, the dispatcher sets it.” “How does he know?” “He gets the time from the observatory.” “How does the observatory know?” “They get their time from the stars.” “How do the stars know what time it is?”
Then I’d pause and I’d say, “I want to talk to you tonight about the living God who made the stars and all of the universe, and Who created you and Who loves you. The living God.” That, my friend, is the basic concept that divides the Christian faith from all of the isms and the cults and the other beliefs in the world. The living God Who loves you. He’s the Savior. The living God who is the Savior. Other people have their deities of one sort or another but there is only one faith, the Christian faith that has a living God that saves because He loves. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” He’s the living God.
We trust in the living God Who is the Savior. A God Who loves and a God Who saves is the chief distinction, the beginning foundational distinction between the Christian faith and the religions of all the rest of the world. Thank God you know the living God.
Now, he says, “The Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.” And you have to realize that that phrase “Savior of all men” does not mean a kind of universalism that says everybody will be saved. He is the Savior in terms of being able to save. Hebrews tells us He’s able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him.
The saving work of almighty God is available to those who will come to Him and who will trust in Him. Specially, it says, to those that believe. How sad to realize that the atonement which our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on Calvary’s cross is sufficient for every human being that ever lived or ever will live and that He died for all. The Bible says that, “They which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him who loved them and who died for them.”
Yes, the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient to save every human being that ever lived or ever will live, but it is available to those only who come to Him in faith and trust in Him. Next time we get together, we’ll look at that word “believe” because it’s an interesting word.
Dear Father, today, oh may we really trust in Thee. May we build our hope upon Thee and may we obey the leading of Thy Holy Spirit. I ask this 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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