Something new?
03/31/2022

Something new?

Speaker:
Passage: Isaiah 43:16-19


Have you ever met a dreamer, a visionary always talking about some grandiose things that usually doesn’t happen?

One of life's greatest commodities is HOPE.

The loss of hope is the loss of life. 

in the book, A Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl’s concern is less with the question of why most died than it is with the  question of why anyone at all survived. 

“He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW.”

~ Nietsche 

1. Hope is the difference between life and death.

What is the point of the word of God. Just words on a page?

Maybe it’s to build faith, build hope.

To actually give life.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have HOPE.

Romans 15:4

Let’s look at this one: Isaiah the prophet to Israel.

Isaiah 43:16 This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,

17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

16 This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,

17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

Finished off the enemies of his people.

God did it before, God can do it again.

2. Confidence in the goodness of God builds hope.

the Contrast:

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

The command: Forget and do not think about the past!

What are the former things? Egypt. Slavery. 

Question: What is the past that keeps you from moving forward?

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Ecclesiastes 7:10

Example: Indian man holding something in the hand precludes the hand from picking up something else. 

Overstimulated nostalgia is usually inaccurate.

Example: Life was simple back in the 1800’s. No digital noise, quiet. No engines, etc.

But there was also no central air-conditioning, no penicillin, no sunscreen, widespread bed bugs, high infant mortality, shorter lifespan.

It’s either: I wish it were the old days. OR Bad things happened, therefore nothing good can happen.

Example: My marriage and divorce. I wouldn’t trust women. I wound’t trust women who were worthy of being trusted. 

That was a mistake. What I was holding onto was keeping me from what God had for me. 

God’s simple command here: Forget the former things!

3. Clinging to the past corrupts the future.

Small glimpses are healthy but DWELLING on the past is something else. 

Example: Why is the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is big?

Why would a person give up hope in the future?

Does the encouragement in the Bible eliminate SUFFERING?

Frankl’s account in his book is less about his travails, what he suffered and lost, then it is about the sources of his strength to survive.

How does a person overcome suffering without eliminating it?

Example: The Doctor outliving his wife complaining about the pain.

“In some way suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”

~ Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

4. Finding meaning in suffering grows hope.

There is a silver lining in suffering.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Why wouldn’t you see it?

Because we look only at the circumstances.

What if this thing God is doing springs up inside YOU, 

not in your CIRCUMSTANCES?

God tells us things in scripture so we can spot them when they pop up.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have HOPE.

Romans 15:4

Hope comes when we believe our suffering is meaningful in some way.

5 ways to finding meaning in suffering:

1. think of someone who would be proud of you.

2. work for God, not people. 

3. record experiences so that someone in the future might gain from them

4. you are suffering instead of someone else so they don’t have to.

5. suffering gracefully might help people who are prone to despair

Topics:

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.