Hello and welcome to this message from Calvary Albuquerque. We are excited to hear from our special guest speaker, Ben Courson. Ben is the director of Hope Generation and author of three books. His humorous, uplifting, and high energy style is paired with a gift to communicate God's heart. We pray that this message encourages you, and if it does we'd love to hear about it. Email us at email@example.com, and if you'd like to support this ministry financially you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/give. Now we invite you to turn in your Bible to Romans chapter 15 as Ben begins the message, God of Hope.
Good morning everybody, it's so good to see your beautiful faces-- you lumps of sunshine. I'm so glad I get to be here. I'll tell you as an outsider what you got to know and I want to remind you of this, this is Disneyland. This is one of the best churches in the world, and Skip, Lenya, Nate-- the Heitzig family-- they are game changers, world shapers, risk takers, history makers, sun stoppers, storm stillers, wave rockers, giant killers for the Kingdom of God. The Bible says give honor to where honor is due, can we give honor to your pastors at this church.
It's amazing and I'm so pumped I get to be here with you today would you please turn with me in your Bible to Romans 15:13. And while you turn there, let me ask you, how many of you guys have heard of Johnny Cash? Raise your hand if you've heard of Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash the famous country singer known for his single "Walk The Line". How many of you've of Bob Hope? Raise your hand if you've heard of Bob Hope. Bob Hope the famous TV comedian and personality. This last one's really obscure, I don't know how many of you have heard of him. How many of you have heard of Steve Jobs? You all know Steve Jobs-- the maker of your iPhone. What these guys all have in common is they were contemporaries, and they all died within the last 20 years. 20 years ago they were all alive. 20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Steve Jobs. Now, we have no cash, [LAUGHTER] no hope, and no jobs. Lord, we pray that Kevin Bacon would not die. [LAUGHTER]
Maybe you came to church today and you say, Ben I got sacked from my job, I'm bereft of hope, I am strapped of cash, and I didn't even get my bacon this morning for breakfast-- hashtag the struggle is real. Well I want to say hashtag the struggle is real, but so is God. Life is tough, but God is tougher. Life is a battle, but the battle is the Lord's. And no one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side. So even if you're broken that's OK, because life is like a glow stick. Sometimes you got to break before you shine, but my hope will not be dictated by my circumstances. My circumstances will always be dictated by my hope, because your past supply is not your last supply. The more desperate the case the more space for God's grace. God's love is the coal that makes the train roll. So we're going to be strong when everything's going wrong. We're going to hope and cope, because we don't mourn over the blues we celebrate the good news.
So many of us, instead of living a life of hope, we're bullied by our fears. Did you know fear releases 1,400 known physical and chemical reactions in your body, and triggers more than 30 known neurotransmitters? So many of us, we live our lives afflicted by fear. The most frequently repeated commandment in the Bible is do not fear. So throw water on the fire of your fears, and throw gasoline on the passions of your dreams. Don't look down and get distressed. Don't look inside and get depressed. Don't look around and get stressed. Look up and get blessed, because we have one on our team who's braver than Batman, stronger than Superman, more indomitable than Iron Man, more audacious than Ant Man-- his name is the son of man, Jesus Christ. There's hope-- there's always hope. And that's what I want to teach you today-- there is hope. Good morning, welcome to church.
You say, Ben I can't hope because I'm in a storm. You say, Ben I have problems-- welcome to humanity. Jesus said in the world, you will have tribulation-- listen-- you might be in a storm today, but life ain't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. Is that culpable or is one person pumped about this? It's about learning to dance in the rain. The Bible says, he turns our morning into dancing. The Bible says, praise His name in the dance. You say, but Ben I stumble. Well make the stumble a part of the dance. Dance in defiance of the dark. I know you might be going through a storm, but listen-- the devil whispered into my ear today, Ben you're not going to withstand the storm. I whispered back I am the storm. Why? Because the Bible says, you are more than conquerors through him who loved you. Now, in the Greek syntax, it can literally be transliterated into English, you are-- listen-- super conquerors. That's what it means in the Greek-- super conquerors. It can also be translated, you are over overcomers. Through him, who loved you.
So that gives us a whole new mindset as we go through our day. God's been faithful in the past. So we're going to be faith filled about the future. And we're going to be fulfilled today, because on your worst day with God you are better off than on your best day without God. Can anybody testify to the fact that that's true? That on your worst day with God you are better off than on your best day without God. Listen, a lot of people think, man life is 90% what happens to me and 10% how I react. It's the other way around, the converse is true life is 90% how you respond to the 10% that happens to you. Here's the truth, a lot of us-- we let the world happen to us. We need to happen to the world.
Here's the reality Jesus called us to be influencers. He called us to be the salt of the Earth. Now, salt-- I don't know if you guys have Red Robin in New Mexico-- you know when you get the French fries, and you put the seasoning salt on those fries it tastes like hope feels. And Jesus said, if you the salt lose your flavor, that can also be translated tang for life-- than you're good for nothing but to be thrown and trampled underfoot by men. Don't lose your flavor-- listen-- if the world says of us those Christians they really suck the flavor out of life we've missed our calling. But if the world says of us they're salt, they bring out the flavor in life, like salt brings out the flavor in food, then we fulfilled our telelologic mission.
We should be the most hopeful, joyful, and I believe enthusiastic people in the world. Why? Do you know where the word enthusiasm comes from? En, the prefix, means in. Thusiasm, is where we get our word theos or theology, which means God. So to be enthusiastic means you are in God, and that's the thing I love about Jesus. Amongst so many things the Bible says, he was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his fellows. I like to tell people wherever I go listen, you might not like me and you might not agree with what I say, but you better have a good time. The Bible doesn't say the common people heard Jesus sadly, it doesn't say the common people heard Jesus madly, it says the common people heard Jesus gladly.
I have the best job in the world. I don't have to deliver blues, I get it deliver good news. And I love this about Jesus man. Everywhere he's going he gets in trouble because he's having too much fun. He puts the fun back in funeral. You know why Jesus got in trouble, because he ate too much. They said oh, he's a glutton, and my defense of Jesus is-- if we weren't meant to have midnight snacks why is there a light in the fridge. Exercise, I thought you said extra fries. I'm in good shape that shape is round. Delicious on the lips terrible on the hips. The body is a temple, but sometimes we add additions.
Anyways, Jesus is accused of being a glutton, and I love this because we also should be accused of having too much joy. I'd be a lot more comfortable if Jesus turned wine into water, but his first miracle is turning water into wine. My point is, we were meant to live a joyful life. The Bible says, a merry heart does good like medicine. Did you know actually when you have hope it works like medicine in your body. Medical scientists are now telling us that two of the typical diseases of modern life, the coronary thrombosis and stomach ulcers, are oftentimes a result of stress. Did you know-- this is mind blowing-- medical scientists are also now telling us that 75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of thought life. Not always, but oftentimes our stress can actually cause us to get sick. And here's the thing medical science is always working on adding years to your life, but only God can add life to your years. Jesus said, I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly. That word is [GREEK] in Greek, it means an over and above kind of life. Jesus did not say I have come to suck the life out of you give you death more abundantly. Because the grumpiness of the Lord is your sorrow, and in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of boringness, and at his right hand there are bummers forever more.
The fruit of the spirit is joy. And the fact is I know we're all going to go through bad things, but we need to stop saying, why does bad stuff happen to good people, and we need to start asking what happens when good people happen to bad things. Come on. We were called to be hope dealers. I remember I said that at a church a few weeks ago, and a guy comes up to me afterwards-- wild hair crazy eyes-- he's like Ben I was a dope dealer-- I'm like I believe it. He said but now I'm a hope dealer. Because that's what the God of hope does, he turns B-postles into A-postles. Hope is dope. The Bible says, happy are those people whose God is the Lord. That's what Psalm says, happy are those people whose God is the Lord. We know that we're going to have a happy ending. Everything's going to be OK in the end. So if it's not OK it's not the end.
So we're going to study this in the scriptures today. It used to be that pastors would say turn in your Bible to Romans 15:13 I have to say turn on your Bible to Romans 15:13. And this is one of my favorite promises of God, and honestly the promises of God are like potato chips-- one is never enough. You just get to feast on this encouragement and nourishment. And this will be a weapon for you against the enemy. The weapons of our warfare, the Bible says, are mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds. We don't have an AK47, we have a Romans 15:13-- ratatata. And by the way I'm going to read this verse out of my iPad. And some people get offended by Christians who read out of iPads, but always remind people the first written words of God were recorded on a tablet.
Romans 15:13 let's take a look. I love how Paul writes this verse, and he talks about hope but his life was not easy. He said, I'm in prison more frequently than anybody else. He got canned more than tuna, and yet he believed that joy is a choice. That we're to count it all joy when we fall into trials and tribulations. Let's take a look Romans 15:13. Now, the God of-- say it out loud-- hope, fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in-- say it out loud-- hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's unpack this text for a minute. The God of hope, it's not just that the Lord gives a little Jesus joy, sacred optimism, holy happiness, or calm delight. Hope is who God is-- intrinsic, germane, fundamental, inherent to the very identity of the divine ultimate reality. This moniker and sobriquet with which Paul dubs God. It's that our Lord is the God of hope. Hope is who God is, and because we bear his image to the world hope is who we are. When people ask me what God do you worship, I like to employ and deploy Pauline theology and tell people, I worship the God of hope. We are not part of a mope generation we're part of a hope generation, Would somebody please say church? I need a better response than that, I'm preaching better than your listening. Would somebody please say church?
Now the God of hope-- look at this next phase-- fill you. Now, the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. I love that word, fill, because sometimes people ask me, Ben are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of guy? A pessimist or an optimist? I say I'm a glass totally full kind of guy, because scientifically the glass is half filled with H2O, and the other half is filled with oxygen and nitrogen. So I prescribe to what the Psalm has said, my cup runneth over. Come on. Oh, no Ben, my cup can't run over, because God doesn't meet my expectations. The Bible never says God will meet your expectations. What it does say is, God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you could ask or even think. If God always met your expectations, how would he be able to exceed them. And when my problem is too big for me it's just the right size for God. In my hopelessness about a problem is a bigger problem than my problem. Because as the very wise Captain Jack Sparrow would say, in light of pirates coming out the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem.
So we need to change the way we look at things and things will change the way they look. Because outlook determines outcome and when your outlook gets bleak you've got to try the up look. God wants to fill you with all joy and peace. I love those words joy and peace-- just fun fact joy and peace in Greek are Irene and Cara which became very popular names. So if you know an Irene or a Cara that comes from the New Testament old Greek, which means joy and peace. Peace actually appears in the pen of every single New Testament author. The word peace appears 80 times altogether in the New Testament. God wants to fill you with all joy and peace-- look at this next phrase-- in believing. So how does the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace? It's when you have faith. It's in believing that this comes, because faith in God produces miracles. Jesus did not say, you need a mountain of faith to move a mustard seed. Jesus said, all you need is a mustard seed of faith to move a mountain. And faith in God produces miracles. Just ask cupcakes. Cupcakes are muffins that believe in miracles. You'll never see cupcakes the same way, conversely, when you don't believe in the God of hope life is like a Krispy Kreme donut that's sugar free. It's not how it was designed.
The Psalmist had so much faith in hope in God, that in Psalm 42 listen to what he said in the first three verses. He said, my soul pants for God like a deer pants for the water brook. Panting speaks of sucking in and fetching pulls a breath. Verse two, he says, my soul thirsts for God. Thirsting speaks of water. In verse three, the Psalmist said, my tears have become my meat day and night. Meat speaks of food. Do you notice what he did there in Psalm 42? In the first three verses he listed mankind's three most essential need for survival-- air, water, and food.
Like Paul at the Areopagus teaching at Mars Hill to the Athenian metaphysicians, who said God is the atmosphere in which we live and move and have our being. The Psalmist said, God, you are the air that I am panting for, the living water that I am thirsting for, the bread sent from heaven that is my meat. Air, water, and food. Man can live 40 days without food, he can that three days without water, he can live eight minutes without air, but he cannot live a second without the God of hope. And when you have faith in the God of hope, you watch how he does miracles in your life so that you can not only face your fears you get a faith your fears. You faith you fears with the God of hope, because here's what faith is-- f-a-i-t-h forward all issues to heaven. I hate golf claps, can we please give God a big round of applause for being the God of the hope.
Quick commercial break. Sometimes the world can make us feel hopeless and ugly. If you're a 12-year-old girl here, did you know the average 12-year-old girl will see 77,500 advertisements by the age of 12? The problem with these ads is it takes away their hope. And that's what research is telling us, because what you're looking at is airbrushed, photoshopped, hogwash, balderdash, computer generated, animation stupidity. And when you look at this girl on an advertisement, and she takes away your hope because you can't look like her. Just remember trying to look like her is me try-- it's like me trying to look like Woody from Toy Story-- it doesn't exist. It's not real. The same thing happens with girls who grew up playing with Barbie. They play with Barbie so they have this image in their head of what they're supposed to look like when they grow up. But the Huffington Post did a study that said, if Barbie were life size she would wear a size three shoe, and she literally would not be able to hold herself up. Because of her physiological constitution she would have to crawl on all fours. I'm only going to have hope if I look like Barbie are you sure you want to-- like the crawling Barbie. That would make a good horror film I think.
The truth is sometimes the world can make us feel ugly and you say image is everything. And I'm not in the image of Megan Fox. I know me, I'm certainly not in the image of Brad Pitt, but you know what the Bible says, were made in the image of God. And the Bible says in second chronicles 20 he is surrounded by the beauty of holiness, and that's the image that we bear to the world. I think of Winston Churchill-- I love this guy-- the prime minister of the UK during WWII. One time he was talking to Bessie Braddock, and Bessie Braddock said, Winston you're drunk. And Churchill said, and madam your ugly. And tomorrow when I wake up I'll be sober, and tomorrow when you wake up you'll still be ugly.
I think of when he was talking to Nancy Astor-- Nancy Astor said, Winston if you were my husband I would poison your tea. Churchill said, and madam if you were my wife I would drink the tea you poisoned-- by the way if a guy tells you you're ugly he's a jerk. If a girl tells you you're ugly, she's jealous. If a kid tells you you're ugly, your ugly. [LAUGHTER]
I read the other day that laughing 100 to 200 times has the same effect on your body as going on a 10 minute jog. So if you want better abs lap at all my jokes-- I'm just saying. That's not what the Bible says about you, making you feel ugly like you're not worth it making you feel hopeless. The Bible says, of you are made in the image of God. The Bible says, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. The Bible says, the thoughts he thinks towards you are thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. The Bible says, you are God's workmanship in Greek poema from which we get our English word poem you are God's poetry in motion. The Bible says, you are kings and priests. The Bible says, you are dear children of the most high God. The Bible says, in Revelation 3, that you who overcome will share a seat with Jesus on his throne-- that's what the Bible says about you. People are not your dictionary, they don't define you. You are defined by your response to who God says you are. Would somebody please say church? That's the good news we have my friends.
So you can not only receive hope for yourself, but deal it out to other people-- even your spouse. When you wake up in the morning, even if your spouse hasn't had his coffee yet-- you know before coffee hates everybody-- after coffee feels good about hating everybody. And he might have bed head, and you could say, honey you look like a million bucks because you're in the image of God today. If you're visiting London just don't say, honey you look like a million pounds. But we get to deal hope to people to let them know that God doesn't just love the world he so loves the world. He's got a bad case of the so loves for you, even when you drop the ball and even when I miss the mark. We get to walk in grace, because where sin abounds grace does much more abound. So we get to walk with some serious swag today-- s-w-a-g saved with amazing grace. Come on man.
That's how we live we're so loved by God. Oh, no Ben, I fall on my face-- well if you fall on your face at least you're still moving forward. Oh, no Ben, I fell on my back. Well as long as you're looking up you can get up. So don't worry your hope away. That's not how God has called you to live. Jesus said, five times in Matthew six, don't worry. Now, how many of you are worrywarts-- don't raise your hand-- I'll raise my hand, I'm a worrywart. What we need to do is wage a worry war. Because I'm a worrywart. I have really bad OCD, actually I have CDO. It's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order like they're supposed to be.
I tend to worry, but if Jesus has to say something five times in one chapter you should probably listen. Five times he said don't worry. Why? Here's his apology he says, because which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature. If you could you'd be 23 feet tall. The truth is worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it does not get you anywhere. Oh, worry changes things, are you sure? I'm pretty sure the only thing worry changes is your blood pressure. Jesus says, don't worry turn your cares into prayers, turn your stresses into supplications, turn your worries into worship, turn your panic into praise, turn your fear into faith in your Father, and a peace that passes understanding will come.
And in all seriousness let me tell you man sometimes life gets really hard, and all we want to do is worry. And all we want to do is give in to depression, and all we want to do is stare at walls. I know some of you might be hearing me today, and your like well Ben you're in your 20s obviously it's easy for you to talk about hope. But let me tell you like you I've gone through hard things. My sister died in a car accident. My brother almost died several times in the past couple of years. My dad's first wife died in a car accident. I went through the hardest year of my life this past year. I went through the most emotional tragic heartbreak I've ever gone through, and I thought I would never be happy again. And there are times when all you want to do is stare at walls, but let me tell you God's never failed anyone, and he ain't going to start with me. God's been faithful so we're going to be faith filled, and we're going to be fulfilled. Because I can say not all things are good all things work together for the good. Because truly God is good.
I believe this generation will go down as the generation of hope. I believe people are rising up who are saying I'm done being part of a mope generation, I'm going to be part of a hope generation. I believe people are raising up who are saying I'm going to have a [GREEK] abundant life that Jesus offers. I'm going to suck the morrow out of life. I'm going to LTD live the dream. I'm going to dance in the rain, because the Bible says the joy of the Lord is my strength. I believe a generation is rising up that will defy the statistics, which are now telling us the number one best selling pharmaceutical medication drug being sold in our generation today are antidepressants. That is the number one best selling drug in America today-- antidepressants. We live in a nation built on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And yet we're stressed and depressed, but I believe a generation is rising up who will say the God of hope will fill me with all joy and peace in believing. That I may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I love that word abound in hope, look at your text. He says abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The word bound is synonymous with the word bounce. So bound and bounce mean the same thing. And I think of Acts chapter 3 the guy who's walking and leaping and praising God. You were not called to be Eeyore, you were called to be Tigger. The wonderful thing about tiggers, are tiggers are wonderful things. Their heads are full of rubber and their tails are full of springs. When you fall it ain't about how hard you fall it's about how high you bounce back when you hit the bottom. We need some tigger's in training. We need some hope dealers. We need people who say I'm going to abound in hope even when I'm in the wrong place for doing the right thing. Remember Paul and Silas they were in the wrong place for doing the right thing. They had delivered this slave girl from her portentious oracular abilities and, because of the predisposition of anti-Semitism among the Roman colony in Philippi, the authorities and magistrates threw them into a dungeon. And they went to Paul and the first thing Paul does after he was whipped is he says, I'm going to pray, and I'm going to praise. He didn't say we're going to bust the whip and do the nae nae. He said, we just got whipped so let us pray pray.
I had to throw that one in there-- suffer well. You think of Stephen the first martyr in the book of Acts chapter 7 when they were throwing rocks at him. He didn't preach the blues he kept preaching the good news. And the last thing he saw on earth was a vision of heaven when the skies were parted and Jesus was standing at the right hand of the throne of God, which is anomalous because Jesus is never standing at the right and to the throne of God he is always seated at the right hand of the throne of God. But in this one occasion Jesus was standing at the right hand of the throne of God, because he was giving Stephen a standing o. Saying way to go Stephen you're continuing to preach the good news even when they're throwing rocks at you. And sometimes rocks get thrown at us, sometimes we can't stand our relationships, we can't stand our finances, we can't stand the sickness, we can't stand the fear, we can't stand the depression, we can't stand the anxiety, we can't stand the worry. Sometimes life gets too hard to stand, but when life gets too hard to stand kneel. Because there's a throne up there.
In fact you're going to love this. Did you know in the book of Revelation there are 22 chapters? In 17 of those 22 chapters the apostle John speaks of a particular piece of furniture called a throne. On roughly 45 occasions John speaks of a throne. What does that say, God is on the throne. No matter what you're going through your storm can not dethrone God. The book of Psalms says, God is in enthroned on the flood. The universe is unfolding as it should. Regardless of what our feelings might tell us God is on the throne.
And our country needs to hear this right now because we've been very divided over the past 12 months. As you all have seen on the news with the Clinton and Trump debates we're no longer the United States of America. We've become the divided states of America. We're probably more divided over the past 12 months than we've been as a country since the days of Vietnam. And a lot of people, they put all their hope in the Democrats and other people they put all their hope in the Republicans. Some people put their hope in a donkey other people put their hope in an elephant, but we put our hope in the lion of the tribe of Judah. We put our hope in the Lamb of God, and all of history is not moving toward a democracy. It's not moving toward a monarchy. It's not moving toward an oligarchic. It's not moving toward an autocracy. It's not moving toward a tyranny. It's moving toward a theocracy, where God's kingdom comes to Earth as perfectly as it is in heaven. Everything's going to be OK in the end. So if it's not OK it's not the end. Would somebody turn up for God. He's the God of hope. That's who he is. That's who he is.
So if your heart's broken I'm telling you I promise you God is on the throne. My friend Kevin is visiting this weekend, he said, you want to know a word God's never said, whoops. He's on the throne even when your heart is broken-- listen-- 900 times the Bible speaks of your heart. It's the sun, the seed, the center of who you are, it's the nexus of your emotional existence. 900 times the Bible speaks of your heart, and when your heart is broken and you don't have hope, Psalm 56 says that all of your tears are collected in his bottle.
Now, that's one of my favorite verses because in Old Testament culture women would collect all their tears in a bottle. Tears of sadness. Tears of gladness. Tears of grief. Tears of glee. They would collect all their tears in a tear bottle, and often times when they got married they would give the tear bottle to their husband. It was one of the most precious possessions of a woman in ancient Israel. Which is fascinating because in four of the gospels we're told the story of a woman who washed Jesus's feet with her hair, with her perfume, and with what else? Her tears. So what she was probably doing is she was dumping her tear bottle on Jesus's feet thereby saying I'm the bride of Christ. And you'll take care of my heart, you will never leave me nor forsake me. Lo you are with me always to the ending of the age, and friends even when your hearts broken he'll take care of it. He's on the throne that's what the back of the book tells you. 45 times Revelation says he's on the throne.
Now when I was in high school and middle school and elementary school I got bad grades-- got a 2.0. My teachers didn't know how to teach a creative genius. Joking not about the 2.00. I got bad grades. And my math textbook was fascinating because whenever there was a problem you couldn't solve all you had to do was flip to the back of the book, and the answers were in the back of the book. The problem is they were all the odd numbered answers so my teachers were really suspicious when I only got the odd numbers correct. And I would say, if you want to be number one you have to be odd. But that's how life is when there are problems you can't solve, go to the back of the book. And the back of the book says, we will live happily ever after. The back of the book says, God is on the throne. The back of the book says, that God of hope will win so we will rejoice in the Lord always-- like Paul.
Like Paul we will glory in tribulation because tribulation produces experience. Experience produces hope. Hope produces patience. And patience make us not ashamed because the love of God spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us. Pain makes you stronger. Tears make you braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser so thank your past for a better future. And what you got to tell your soul when your soul gets down-- the problem with most Christians is we listen to ourselves when we need to talk to ourselves. The problem with most of us is we listen to whatever thoughts come through our head. Instead we need to talk to ourselves. David encouraged himself-- in the Lord the Bible says, so much so that in Psalm 42:5 42:11 repeating this refrain, the Psalmist says, to his own soul why are you cast down oh my soul hope in God. That's what you've got to tell your soul. Why are you downcast? Hope in God. Say Ben, if I talked to my soul I'll seem crazy. Well put a Bluetooth in your ear and people will think you're talking on the phone.
Don't be sad, because sad spelled backwards is das. And das not good. Most people they die in their 20s, and they're buried in their 70s. Don't be most people one day your life is going to flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching. How do we live a life of hope? Here's the sticky idea, here's the takeaway. How do we have hope? Drum roll please. Can I have an actual drum roll? This is big. Here's how you have hope. Here's the sticky idea. Stop focusing on your problems start focusing on God's promises-- that simple. Listen, neuroplasticity is telling us we can rewire the synapses and grooves in our brain. Stop focusing on your problems, and start focusing on God's promises because God's promises eclipse your problems.
So I'm really pumped over the past year we started a national TV show called Hope Generation, and I want to play for you a clip from this show which is just promises of God. Can I just bathe you in some promises of God? So listen, my opinions are dumb, but what God says about us is everything. Let's take in these promises of God.
Sometimes I feel like my life is broken down and rusted out, but the promises of the Bible are the bridge from despair to hope. You go from glory to glory, grace to grace, strength to strength. As your days are, so shall your strength be. He turns your sorrow into joy, your mourning into dancing, puts off your sackcloth, and girds you with gladness. Gives you the garments of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness. Gives you beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. If you sow in tears then you'll reap in joy. Then with our mouths filled with laughter, for they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. We don't know what to do but our eyes are on you for the Lord can save by many or by few. Is his arm too short that it cannot save us? Is his ear too dull that it cannot hear? Thou shalt be the head and not the tail. Thou shalt be above and not beneath. Be still and know that I am God for I will be exalted among the nations. As you meditate day and night on the law of God, you'll be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water. Bringing forth fruit in your season, so that your leaf will not wither, and whatever you do will prosper.
Psalm 20, may the Lord grant you your heart's desires. Psalm 21:2, the Lord has granted me my heart's desires. Psalm 37:4, as you delight yourself in the Lord he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 145:19 he will fulfill the desires of those who fear him. He will also hear their cry and save them. Proverbs 10:24, the desire of the righteous will be granted. Proverbs 10:22, the blessing of the Lord makes one rich and he adds no sorrow with it. I will not be afraid of 10,000s of people who have set themselves against me all around. For the Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid. Even if my father and mother forsake me then the Lord will take care of me. For many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of the all. The Lord is nigh unto the brokenhearted, and saveth such as be of the contrite spirit. He healeth the brokenhearted and bindeth up their wounds.
The Lord your God is a sun and shield he will give grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Happy are those people whose God is the Lord. Whose hope is in the God of Jacob. Whose help comes from the Lord who made heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. For the path of the just is like the shining sun. Shining ever brighter unto the perfect day. Even if I sit in darkness, then the Lord will be a light into me. Commit your work to the Lord and your thoughts will be established. You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you. If you pass through the waters I will be with you. When you go through the rivers they will not overflow you. When thou walk us through the fire thou shalt not be burned. No weapon formed against you will prosper for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual mighty and God. To the pulling down of strongholds he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the Earth looking for those whose hearts are loyal to him that he might show himself strong on their behalf.
The Lord your God is a warrior. So in your hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ for the battle is not yours the battle belongs to the Lord. The Lord your God in the midst of you. His is mighty. He will save. He will rest in his love. He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rejoice over thee with singing. He will restore in the years the locusts have eaten. Lo I am with you always even to the ending of the age. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who were persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men persecute you and revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake, rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets who came before you.
All things work together for the good, to those who love God, and are the called according to his purpose. Now these things that were written, were written for our learning. That through the patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. That you may abound in a hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Brethren whatever things are true noble, lovely, just, pure, virtuous, and praiseworthy meditate on these things and the God of peace will be with you. Let patience have its perfect work that you might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined and heard my cry. He brought my feet out of the pit of the miry clay. This is the confidence that we have in him. That if we ask anything according to his will he hears us, and if we know that he hears us we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us. That we should be called sons of God. Jesus said, my words are spirit in life. After Abraham patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Is anything too hard for the Lord. We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
We might be hard pressed on every side, but we are not crushed. We might be perplexed, but we are not in despair. We might be persecuted, but we are not forsaken. We might be struck down, but we are not destroyed. Because God who begins a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what the Lord has in store for those who love him. Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think according to the power that is at work within us. God has given us exceeding great and precious promises. God cannot lie, and all the promises of God in Him are yes and Amen. We have now bridged the gap from despair to hope with the promises of God.
I just think we have no excuse to be hopeless. Focus on those promises, and they eclipse your problems. Now, I know there were quite a few promises in there. So if you want to go over them again, on my Instagram, we have the link right in the profile. If you want to just get those back in your heart. And I'm really pumped because over a million people have seen it over the past few months, and we're just really passion about getting the message of the God of hope out to the world. And I believe that we need to stop saying, how can I get out of this. And we need to start saying what can I get out of this. Would you all stand with me?
I believe that God has called us to be a hope generation. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. There are 40 different authors that wrote these 66 books. 14 of these books were written by Paul the Apostle. Paul the Apostle said, the reason we wrote the Bible-- Romans 15:4-- is for the express purpose of giving you hope. So if we walk away from a Bible study not with more hope, but with less hope it is a giant an exercise in missing the point. We have enough people who are telling us bad news-- bad news sells. We need more people who declare the good news. We have enough Eeyores in the world. We need some more Tiggers. We have enough people who say you're going to die soon. We need a few more people who tell us, you ain't dead yet. We have enough people who tell it like it is, we need a few more who tell it like it can be. We need have a checkup from the neck up. Get rid of stinking thinking, and have an attitude of gratitude. Because just because bad things are happening around me does not mean they need to be happening inside me. I can't control what happens to me, but I can't control what comes through me. God doesn't do anything to me he only does things for me. And if God is going to do something for me, he's first got to do something in me. So don't look down and give up, but look up and get up because Jesus rose so you could rise. Let's worship the God of hope.
We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Albuquerque, featuring our guest speaker, Ben Courson. How did this message impact you? We'd love to know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Albuquerque.