WHEN ALL HOPE IS GONE

Paul is on his way to Rome where he’s going to stand trial before Caesar. He’s under armed escort. The ship that he’s in has come to a port called Fair Havens on the eastern end of the island of Crete. Paul advised the Roman Guard to spend the winter here because it was too late in the season to be sailing. It was getting too dangerous to sail because the storm season was already in progress. Paul has spent a lot of time on the sea during his missionary travels. He’s very well familiar with the area, the seas, and the storms. So he knows what he’s talking about.

The Roman Guard, however, didn’t listen to Paul. He listened instead to the ship’s captain. On this particular day the weather and the sea looked good. They were only going to be sailing a few miles to the western side of the island. Phenice had a better port and it was a better place to spend the winter. Besides that, it wasn’t going to take very long to get there. So they decided to take a chance and sail to Phenice. That’s when the trouble began.

Acts 27:14-20,  But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.  (15)  And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.  (16)  And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:  (17)  Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.  (18)  And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;  (19)  And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.  (20)  And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

No doubt, some of you know what it’s like to go through your own storm at sea. You’ve weathered the ups and downs; one day the trial’s decent, the next day it’s absolutely horrendous and horrifying. You’re at the wind’s mercy. The trial’s taking you places where you don’t want to go. You’ve tried everything you know to do to save yourself. Nothing’s working. You’ve spent many dark, gloomy days and nights in despair. You’ve cried your tears. You’ve said your prayers. And it just doesn’t look like God’s got a miracle for you. Perhaps some of you have come to a point in the trial when all hope of living is lost and it looks like you’re a goner.

Brethren, what do you do when all hope is gone? When you’ve come to the end of your journey and everything is hopeless and lost; what do you do?

1. GET ALONE WITH GOD. WAIT ON HIM. AND LISTEN TO HIS VOICE. God has something He wants to say to you. But you’ve been caught up in the fight to stay alive, you’ve been mired in mourning and grief; that you’ve not been quiet before God. God has something He wants to say to you. And, sometimes, the only way He can get you to listen is to let the trial get so bad, so long and hopeless,  that you come to a point where you’re so tired and weary. All you can do is lay still, shut up, and be quiet. That’s exactly where God wants you to be.

Lazarus has died. He’s been dead for four days. Even though it’s too late to do anything for him, Jesus still decides to go and pay him a visit.

Martha goes out to meet Him. Do you know what Jesus does? Here’s a poor, grieving, woman who’s lost her brother. She’s lost all hope of Lazarus ever getting healed and living. Jesus was too late. The situation is hopeless and beyond remedy. And do you know what Jesus does? He preaches her a mini sermon about Himself.

John 11:25-26,  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  (26)  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Before Jesus works a miracle, He preaches a sermon. He speaks a word. Do you know why He does that? Because faith comes by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). GOD HAS SOMETHING HE WANTS TO SAY TO YOU BECAUSE HIS WORD IS WHAT’S GOING TO GET YOU BELIEVING AND HOPING ONCE AGAIN.

2. WHEN ALL HOPE IS GONE, LISTEN TO GOD SPEAK TO YOU, THEN HOPE IN HIS WORD.  When God speaks to you, it’s because He wants you to hope again. To believe again. Yeah, it looks like everything is hopeless to you. BUT GOD DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HOPELESS. NOTHING IS HOPELESS TO HIM. BRETHREN, GOD WANTS TO BRING YOU TO A PLACE WHERE—NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE, AS LONG AS HE’S GIVEN YOU HIS PROMISE AND HIS WORD—YOU’VE GOT EVERY REASON TO HOPE ONCE AGAIN.

Abraham and Sarah wanted children so much. They tried and tried, but, come to find out, Sarah was barren. Years turned into years. Abraham and Sarah grew old. Too old. The hope of ever having children was long past and gone. And in the midst of the hopelessness of their situation, God spoke a Word to him. He gave Abraham a promise that he would have a son. Brethren, when you’re going through a trial, especially a serious trial, be quiet before God. Wait on Him. And listen. God wants to tell you something.

Romans 4:18-21.  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  (19)  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:  (20)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  (21)  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Against hope, Abraham believed in hope. Do you know what against hope means? It means when all hope is gone. When it’s hopeless. When there’s no reason to be hopeful. When everything is hopeless, lost, and gone. Do you know what Abraham did when all hope was gone? He believed in hope! He continued to hope even when it was hopeless. Do you know what this says, brethren? It says that YOU CAN HOPE EVEN WHEN THINGS ARE HOPELESS. WHEN EVERYTHING’S HOPELESS YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOSE YOUR HOPE. YOU CAN STILL HOPE EVEN WHEN ALL HOPE IS GONE!

Hope in what? Hope in God’s Word. You’ve still got that. When everything has been taken away from you, you still have God’s Word in your heart. Do you remember what He told you? What He promised you? Like Abraham, if you want God’s promise bad enough, you’ll hang on and hope. You won’t throw in the towel. You’ll continue to hope.

What do you do when all hope is gone? (1) You go to God, keep quiet, and listen to what He says to you. (2) Believe what God says to you and hope once again.

3. REJOICE AND EXPECT GOD TO KEEP HIS WORD TO YOU. When God gives you His Word, He means to keep it. But He wants you to hope and believe even when everything’s hopeless. Faith is still required for answered prayer! Like Abraham, expect God to keep His Word because He will! Numbers 23:19 tells us that God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God will make good on His Word. But you’ve got to start being happy, start being positive, start changing your attitude and confession, start expecting your miracle.

The Devil’s painted his picture about how this trial is going to end. Switch the channel and tune in to God’s broadcast because He paints a truer, better picture. You won’t be hopeful as long as you’re watching the Devil’s channel and listening to his doom-and-gloom forecast. The answer, the hope you need, is in God’s Word. Psalms 42:11,  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health {literally, the salvation} of my countenance, and my God. Your God, dear saints, is a saving God.

Do you want to know what happened to Paul and the ship that was caught in the storm at sea? When all hope was lost, God spoke a word of hope to Paul. Then Paul passed the word around. He gave the sailors what God gave him: hope.

Acts 27:21-25,  But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.  (22)  And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  (23)  For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,  (24)  Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.  (25)  Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

When all hope is lost God wants you to keep on believing and hoping. He isn’t done yet. Yeah, the Devil might still be working. But so is God! God’s not left you alone to fend for yourself. He gave you a promise and He means to keep that promise. Expect Him to do it! Look for your miracle. As long as you’re hoping and believing God, you’ve got a miracle coming! Don’t give it up. Don’t give up on God. Don’t give up your hope. When all hope is gone, hope still. May God give you the grace to hope!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers

%d bloggers like this: