Sermon Reflections from A Future For The Faithful | Alex Hardt | March 26, 2023
Considering our world today, Pastor Alex’s sermon topic was exactly what I needed. Our world is in turmoil and chaos following a worldwide pandemic, natural disasters, wars, famine, economic downturns, etc. It is hard to watch the news without being depressed. However, there is light for those of us who believe in Jesus, our Sovereign, and Omniscient God. As we look to the words of Isaiah the prophet again this week, we see hope and a future guaranteed by God.
What can make this possible? God and God alone is able to reform and transform our lives and world. Isaiah 66:1-2a shows God’s perspective on our world. “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord.
God reminds us that He alone is creator and brought our world into being by His Word. I know that God did not desire the world to be filled with sin and corruption. Man brought about those things through his sinful nature and disobedience towards God.
How can things be turned around? Look into God’s Word for the answer. Isaiah 66:2b shows us “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” To be transformed by God one must be willing and humble yourself before Him, have genuine sorrow for you sins and look to His Word for guidance. Jesus is the living Word of God- look to Him. The Bible is the written Word of God-open it and read for guidance and restoration. God will give us what we need if we are willing and to look to Him. Above all God desires our hearts and wants to receive us with open arms if we turn to Him.
What does God see for you and me? We can’t seem to see beyond tomorrow let alone next year? God is omniscient and He knows the beginning from the end. When the Israelites were languishing in captivity in Babylon, God sent this message though Jeremiah the prophet. Jeremiah 29:10-12 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” His message gave them hope that their time of captivity was not unending. We can find hope in that too, as trial and tribulations are time limited. They will not go on forever! Praise God! Further, God had great plans for them, and He has great plans and a purpose for you and me. They are not plans to hurt us or bring us grief but to encourage us and bring us hope. God sees a future that we can’t envision. I am so grateful for this truth.
Lastly, God ends the book of Isaiah with hope as He shares a bit of what He has planned for us. Isaiah 66:22-25 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.” God promises a new place, a new heaven and new earth, which will be enduring. He also lets us see what will become of those who do not turn to Him. That is a grim sight that none of us want for our loved ones. Since God provides us with a Hope that is enduring and future that is secure, why not share that ASAP with those who do not know Him. None of us wants the alternative reality for those who do not know Him. Who can you tell today that, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 or John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Looking to the future we see the truth in the fact that our HOPE is in surrendering to the future God has envisioned for us. He knows. He sees ahead. He can and will guide us. Tell others so they can be with us too.
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