Pastor Jason- Week 2 in Hope Series: Take Hold of Hope, 12.08.19 

Hebrews 6:9-18 (last page of notes) 

Hope is found in the person of Jesus. 

Hope is an intentional decision to connect to the person of Jesus. 

1. Hope is a decision 

2. Hope builds history with God 

3. Hope connects with God’s character 

“How do you know as a Christian if you have hope? If you really have faith in Jesus? I would argue that it is perseverance.” ~Angela Duckworth from her book, Grit 

Background: 

  • Hebrews is all about Jesus 
  • It was written to Christians who were experiencing persecution, and are now tempted to return to Jewish practices.
    • Sometimes we may return to a ritual for a sense of comfort, because this is what you have learned or something you used to practice. 
    • Don’t go back to rituals, maintain your relationship. 
  • The rules positioned them to know about God but not to know God- He says “I will write them on your heart.” 

1. Hope is a decision/choice:

  • Some are discouraged. Some face a temptation to return to what you know, because life is hard.
  • v10: God is not unjust– the enemy challenges God’s justice and character. 
    • Like he did to Adam and Eve: Can He be trusted? Is God just? Is He faithful? 
    • We are tempted to ask: “God if you are good, then why….” 
  • God sees your effort and tears.
  • Be diligent to the end, and don’t give up so that you may see what you hope for. Remember who you serve.
  • Hope is birthed— it is formed in us. 
    • It is formed by continuing to make the decision. 
    • v12- Don’t become lazy, don’t take the easy way out; another word is “sluggish”. Imitate those who, through faith and patience, inherited the promise. 
    • Imitate the ones who have gone before you.
    • It is why we need discipleship and community. 
  • God is just; He sees your effort, so don’t quit and return to empty things. 

Have you ever returned to something you know because you find comfort in it? 

What do you get tempted to return to when it gets hard and hope is fading? 

Who is an example of hope in your life? 

Hope is a decision and when you make the decision, hope is being formed in you 

2. Hope builds history with God:

  • Hope is in it for the long haul.

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”[a] 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. 

  • The writer is pointing them back to their history. 
  • He is reminding them they are losing sight of where they have come from. 
  • Many of us did not come from a rich spiritual heritage. 

Who are your go-to people? Who help you remember where you came from/ where they have come from? 

  • God promised Abraham’s descendants (that is you), YOU are the promise. 
  • v15:  He waited patiently- Patiently for what? 

Genesis 12– the promise was given 

Genesis 15– the covenant is made: “Covenant” has no meaning to us today. 

  • Read the story of the covenant: the dividing of the animal, and God Himself walking down the middle of the sacrifice. In that culture, what He is saying is “what happened to this animal will happen to me if I do not fulfill my end of the deal.” 
    • No one else can back this promise, so He swears by Himself.
    • Read Romans 4:18 

The writer of Hebrews is reminding them that God has stayed faithful through; slavery, captivity, trial, silence, persecution and what appears to be nothing happening. 

  • When we see Jesus on the cross, it means God fulfilled His promise and will continue to. 
  • If He was faithful to fulfill the promise of the coming Messiah, Jesus, then He can be trusted to be faithful to you.
  • If He did all this He will do what you need too! 

Sometimes we have seasons of building history with God.

  • Carissa and I have been building history with God for 20 years together.
  • There have been seasons where the promise and reality were diametrically opposed.
  • There were seasons it felt like I was being torn in two. 
  • Hope builds history with God because it doesn’t quit.

There are seasons of life where you have to trust Him, because you can’t see what He is doing. 

Are you in one of those seasons? Do you have a story to share of going thru one? 

Hope is built in history with God. Every time there is a challenge, our faith in response is to walk with God. Make the choice. 

What is your hope history? 

Are there some things you can write down now to start remembering that history? 

3. Hope is connected with God’s character: 

17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 

We anchor ourselves to His Character 

What do you know about the Character of God? Share.

The author of Hebrews reminds his readers: God works, not according to the strength of our trust in Him, or the strength of our persuading Him. He works according to His own perfectly good and faithful character. 

God has provided us a life in Him that anchors our soul through all the ups and downs of our present life.

  • On a boat in a storm, you hope that the anchor you are counting on is both sure and steadfast.
    • You hope it has depth to stay grounded in the swells of the waves. 
  • We are attached to God as a boat is attached to an anchor in stormy seas. 
  • We have to be committed to trust the anchor in a storm. To drop anchor while the storm rages.
    • When life rages, I connect to the anchor of my soul- His character.
    • Even if I fail in my faithfulness, He won’t.

God makes a promise, determines He will keep it, and has the expectation that man will remain in covenant with Him.

  • That is our part. 
  • Faith positions us, hope keeps us connected. 
  • Hope fights for the connection.
  • Abraham fought off the vultures that came to eat the covenant sacrifice. 
    • We have to do the same.
  • There will always be the Accuser, and those who want to steal your hope. 
  • It takes a fight, and a choice. It takes discipline. 
  • Even when we don’t understand, His character is our hope. 
  • Jesus is the embodiment of the hope. 

I know you are tired. I know you want to return to empty practices. 

Don’t get lazy, don’t get sluggish. God is faithful. Keep hoping. 

Remember Abraham, remember your roots, and remember what God did. 

Our part in hope is to chooseto connect to Jesus. The anchor of our hope is God. He promised and He can’t lie. 

We have to affirm to ourselves that what Christ has done is enough to get us through every situation. 

Remember your history with Him and intentionally choose to make more history with him. 

What do you need to do to respond to this message of hope? 

Hebrews 6:9-18 (NIV) 

Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patienceinherit what has been promised. 

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”[a] 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. 

16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.