It is vital we live a life as a prisoner of hope. Paul talks about faith, hope, and love. He says the greatest is love, but hope is central. Without hope, there is nothing left but despair, depression, and sickness. Hope is a first step to an abundant life. In fact, without hope we will never experience the abundant life rightfully ours.

ABUNDANT LIFE – Living in the Kingdom

By Pastor Delbert Young

Prisoner of Hope

Prisoner of Hope

audio

Video

Prisoner of Hope

Scriptures: John 10:10, Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 11:6, Romans 4:18-21, Jeremiah 29:11, Zechariah 9:12, Exodus 14:4, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Psalms 34:3

It is vital that we live a life of hope. I don’t think we know the importance of hope. Paul talks about faith, hope, and love. He says the greatest is love, but hope is central. Without hope, there is nothing left but despair, depression, and sickness. Hope is a first step to an abundant life. In fact, without hope we will never experience the abundant life rightfully ours.

People don’t realize it, but they allow the thief to steel their hope. That lack of hope keeps them from moving forward and experiencing the abundant life.

(Amplified) John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have {and} enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

God wants us to have life in abundance and until it overflows. God has planned for it. However, there is a thief(s) that come to steal that abundant life from us. One thing the thief will steal to keep us from having a full life is our hope.

I want to talk about the importance of hope. I want us to see how we must look beyond the natural and into the future by using hope.

A young boy had just gotten his driver’s license and in hope he asked his father if he could use the car. His father said, “I’ll make a deal with you. If you bring your grades up, study your Bible, and get your hair cut, then you can use it.” A month later the boy came back hoping to use the car. The dad said, “Son I am very proud of you. You brought your grades up. You have been studying your Bible, but you haven’t gotten your hair cut.” The boy said, “Dad, I’ve been thinking. Sampson had long hair. Moses had long hair. Even Jesus had long hair.” The dad said, “Yes son and they walked every place they went.” Sometimes our hopes need a little adjusting. Let’s take a look at our hopes.

HOPE IS THE FIRST STEP TO THE FULL AND ABUNDANT LIFE. Look at this.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We can’t have faith unless we first have hope. God wants you to hope for things you can’t see. God wants you to dream big.

There is no wonder the enemy wants to take our hope. Without hope we can’t have faith. Without faith God cannot work in our lives and reward us.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

So, when we lose our hope, we cannot have faith. If we don’t have faith, we miss the rewards of a full abundant life.

The thief knows that hope is the first step to a better life. No wonder he wants us to focus on our circumstances and problems and what we don’t have.

The thief will do everything he can do to make us think that our situation is hopeless. He tells you that it’s impossible for you to get out of debt. Your marriage will never be good. Your child will never get on the right path. You are never going to get healed. You are never going to break that addiction. And on and on he goes with the goal of stealing your hope.

GOD HAS BETTER THINGS AHEAD FOR US. If we are going to enjoy the abundant life, we must live with expectancy. We must to be able to look beyond where we are and what we are going through. We must know that God has better things ahead for us.

God told Abraham that he would have a child. Abraham was a hundred years old and knew in the natural that was impossible. But Abraham looked beyond the natural and looked in hope.

Romans 4:18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Romans 4:19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead ‑ since he was about a hundred years old ‑ and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.

Romans 4:20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,

Romans 4:21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Our faith becomes weak if we lose hope. First Abraham had hope and then did not weaken in his faith. God rewarded him. We cannot allow the thief to take our hope.

ABRAHAM DID NOT CONSIDER HIS CIRCUMSTANCES. HE CONSIDERED HIS GOD. Abraham did not allow his circumstances, or his body, or Sarah’s body to become his focus. He focused in hope to the promise. He had a dream in his heart to have a son. He had a promise from almighty God. He made a decision that he would not listen to his circumstances, his body, or Sarah’s body. He would not allow the thief to take his hope.

Some of us need to stop focusing on your circumstances. Some need to stop focusing at our bodies. Instead focus on our God. God has given you a promise. There is a dream in your heart. The thief tells you to give up. People discourage you. But what you have to do is hope on in faith just like Abraham.

Look beyond the natural and see your dreams coming to pass. Look out there and see you healed. Look out there and see yourself out of debt. Look out there and see your children doing what they are supposed to do.

REALIZE WHAT THE ENEMY IS DOING. He is taking your hope so you will not have faith. The Lord God loves you. He believes in you.

God does not want you to barely get by. He sent Jesus so we can have an abundant life. He has great plans for you.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hope is attached to our futures. Hope is attached to our prospering. Don’t settle for second best or mediocrity. God has so much more in store for you.

God wants you to get your hopes up. God wants to raise our quality of life. He wants us to have an abundant life, but we must have hope.

I KNOW THAT SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN SEVERELY HURT, but don’t allow that to take your hope. I know you feel like you have lost out.

BE A PRISONER OF HOPE. Look at this great scripture.

Zechariah 9:12 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

God is saying that if you will be prisoners of hope and not be prisoners of despair or circumstances, he will restore double what you had before. If you will be a prisoner of hope, you will have an abundant life. God will take your disappointments, turn them around, and bring you out with twice as much joy, twice as much peace, and twice as much happiness. Be captured by hope. Be handcuffed to hope. Let hope be your fortress.

David went through some dark times, but he was a prisoner of hope. David said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil.” He didn’t say he would stay in that valley. You may be walking through some dark times now, but don’t stay there. Be a prisoner of hope. Hope will bring you out of dark times. God will turn that situation around and bring you out with twice as many blessings. God will make the enemy pay you double for causing you all that trouble. (Randy Parker)

Sometimes crazy things happen. No one knows why bad things happen to good people. The Bible tells of a day when Jesus was walking down the street with his disciples. They passed a man born blind. The disciples asked, “Who sinned and caused the man to be blind? Was it his parents or he?” Jesus said that no one had sinned and caused this blindness, but God would use it for his glory.

Don’t spend your time worrying about what you did or didn’t do to cause something. Don’t blame people for what they did or didn’t do. All that will do is give you a good opportunity to get bitter and steal your hope. Eventually you will even begin to blame God. Leave it alone. Be a prisoner of hope and know that God will restore everything back double to you.

Know too that sometimes things happen in our lives to bring glory to God. That was the case of the blind man. God will get glory, but you will get double back. Job did.

In Exodus 14, the people of God were exiting from Egypt. We are told there that God planned to harden Pharaoh’s heart to bring God glory.

(TLB) Exodus 14:4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will chase after you. I have planned this to gain great honor and glory over Pharaoh and all his armies, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” So they camped where they were told.

Sometimes God will allow the enemy to pursue us and sometimes it looks bad. Sometimes we have done all we can to follow God. We have followed the cloud the best we can. We have tithed, ministered, prayed, etc. Yet we come to what seems to be a dead end in life. Sometimes there seems to be no way out, but if we will put our hope in God, he will open a sea for us. Then he will close the sea upon our enemies. God will get great glory at the expense of your enemies. God will get good out of it and you will get all the gold and silver and plunder from the Egyptians. You are rewarded and restored twice what you had because you had hope.

See his salvation. No matter what is going on in your life, you must see beyond it and hope. Be a prisoner of hope and watch what God will do!

You know how that story went. One day it appeared that the end had come. The very next day they were delivered, rich, and all their enemies destroyed. Today your finances may be looking bad. But if you will be a prisoner of hope and see beyond your circumstances, he will deliver you tomorrow. Your marriage may be looking bad today, but if you will be a prisoner of hope and see beyond the present circumstances, God will bring you victory tomorrow. You may have gotten a bad report from the doctor today, but if you will be a prisoner of hope and see yourself healed, you will be healed tomorrow. If God can open a sea for two million people to walk through, surely he can take care of your situation.

I want to encourage you today. It does not matter what you are going through, if you will stir up your hope like Abraham and see through your eyes of faith, God will move in your life and give you double what you had before. God will open ways for you where there seemed to be no way.

Whatever you are going through will not stay. You will go through your tough times. The apostle Paul went through some tough times.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Paul said trouble is only momentary. Paul didn’t focus on his troubles. Paul focused on the unseen. He focused on his hope, not on the circumstances. Paul knew that God would cause him to triumph.

We have to stop focusing on our problems. We need to focus on the hope. The reason that so many people are discouraged and even sick and depressed is because they have lost their hope. They can’t walk in faith because they are constantly walking in their problems. They become prisoners of problems and not prisoners of hope. Their problems are all they talk about. Their problems are on the forefront of their minds. They seem hopeless.

WE MUST MAGNIFY THE LORD.

Psalms 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

David said, “Magnify the Lord . . . exalt his name.” We have to make a decision. Are we going to magnify the Lord are the problem? Are we going to exalt his name or the problem? The bigger we make our God, the smaller we make the problem. The more we exalt his name, the more faith is released in our lives. And faith allows God to work miracles in our lives.

There is a story in 1 Kings 18 about Elijah. There had been a 3-year drought. The Lord told Elijah that it was going to rain, but there was no sign of rain. The skies were clear. Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel and prayed. Elijah was not focused on the natural skies. He was focused on what he believed. He was looking through hope and seeing the rain coming down. He sent his servant to go see if there was any sign of rain. The servant came back and said there was no sign at all. The skies were clear. Elijah would not allow that report to change what he believed the Lord had told him. So he prayed again and sent the servant again. It had only been a few minutes. Again the servant came back and said there was nothing. Elijah prayed again and again he sent the servant to look. Again, the servant came back and said there was nothing. Again and again and again this happened. Finally, on the seventh trip, the servant came back and said, “Elijah, I don’t want to get your hopes up, but there is a little bitty cloud. It’s about the size of a man’s hand.” Elijah said you better go before the rain comes and stops you. The Bible says the skies became black and the rains came heavily.

When we really have a vision of hope in our lives nothing will cause us to give up. You will keep on praying and keep on hoping.

Maybe you are in some kind of drought today. You have been praying and believing, but you can’t see anything happening. Let me encourage you, go back and look again and then go back and look again, and again, and again. Eventually you will begin to see a little cloud forming. You will begin to see a little change taking place. If you will keep that vision of victory in front of you and not get discouraged no matter what others say, you will see the heavens open and see your hope become reality.

I want to encourage you today. Stir up your hope so your faith can operate. Don’t focus on your circumstances, or body, or another’s body. Focus on God and his promise to you. God has plans to give you a hope and a future. Be a prisoner of hope and God will reward you with twice more than you ever had. God will open seas for you and open heaven for you. Hope is a first step to an abundant life. God will bring you out victorious every single time. You will live that abundant life that belongs to you. Hope on in faith.

Other Related Sermons:

Freedoms Indeed 4th of July Independence Day sermon video audio notes

WHY? – Palm Sunday sermon video audio notes

Overcoming Negative Words – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young