“Practical Hope”

Pastor David Moore

New Testament reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-13

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 

Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.  The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am

saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.  Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

If thou wilt return, O Israel saith the Lord… Jeremiah 4:1

Theme: Jeremiah the prophet of hope, buys a piece of land to demonstrate his faith and hope on God’s word to deliver the Jews out of captivity in the future.

Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 32:8-12, 15-17, 24-27, 42-44

Then, just as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, “Buy my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself.”
I knew that this was the word of the Lord; so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver. I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy—and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard…

For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’ After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord: “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you…

“See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see. And though the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, you, O Sovereign Lord, say to me, ‘Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.’”

Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

…“This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without men or animals, for it has been handed over to the Babylonians.’ Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.”

All the years before the Babylonians, Jeremiah preached the coming judgement, now he preaches hope and grace. Even now, Jeremiah is not heard. ~D. Moore

Judgement is never the last word from God. It was necessary because of so many generations of ignoring God, running away from Him. They had seen this before, with Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark. God used judgement to get our/their attention. God longs to give mercy and grace to be with His creation. ~D. Moore

We are created by God to be in relationship with Him and to know Him intimately.

Jeremiah’s reality was God. And God used the land purchased to fulfill His promise to Israel. Jeremiah was investing in the future of Israel. Jeremiah is a prophet of hope. ~D. Moore

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.
~Gilbert K Chesterton

The problem for us is that Jeremiah’s act of hope, and ours as well, are part of the reality that is being constructed, but not presently seen. Hope is not wishing. Hope instead is acting on the conviction that will complete the work that He has begun, even when it doesn’t look like anything is happening. ~D. Moore

William Stringfellow: “Hope is relied upon grace in the face of death. The issue is that receiving life as a gift, not as a reward and not as punishment; hope is living patiently, expectantly, resting, joyously in the efficiency of the word of God.

It takes courage to live in hope. But it is the only practical action, for it is the only action that survives the decay of the moment and escapes the scraping of yesterday’s fashion. There is hope, always. ~D. Moore

This week, wherever you find yourself, dwell upon the act of hope in Jeremiah. Think about your only action in the face of serious obstacles, which is your faith and hope in the God and Creator of the universe.

God bless you!