What is the Impact of Audacious Hope?

When We Live Life Showing That Jesus Is Our Hope, We Impact The World.

Tim Lundy
Aug 16, 2020    32m
Live can be so challenging, and it can cause us to feel hopeless. But when we remember that Jesus is our hope, and live our lives in a way that models that truth, we positively impact the world around us. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:07 Well, Venture, we come to the end of our series on Audacious Hope this week. But I want to invite you back for next week, next week, Chip Ingraham is launching a series entitled The Art of Survival. And in it, he's going to walk through James chapter 1, and really apply God's Word to how do we survive in times like this? It's a great series, you're not going to want to miss it.

Tim Lundy: 00:36 But this week we're finishing out Audacious Hope, and I don't know about you, but this series has been so helpful for me. Just studying God's Word, immersing myself in what it says about hope. And this week, I want us to end, as we've been looking at all these different facets of it, what's the impact of hope? What's the impact on our lives, what's the impact spiritually, when you're a person of hope?

Tim Lundy: 01:03 You know, they're seeing the impact of hope in the business world, it's interesting as different management experts try to study why certain workers seem to show up more than others. You know, as they studied the loss that businesses feel, and it's around $153 billion, this loss just through worker's sick time. And there's a lot of billions mixed into that, they're not sure if it is real sickness, or is it just people not wanting to come? And how could you measure that? You know, James Ivy's a management expert, and so he started doing studies with different companies. One company, he went in, he worked with their HR department, and they classified all the engineers in the company based on interviews, where they high hope people or low hope people? That's literally the categories they used, because they determined hope was the greatest indicator of whether an employee really wanted to come to work. If an employee had hope that they felt like they were part of the mission, if they believed in the vision of what the company was doing, if they believe what they were doing made a difference in it, if they had hope, they were far more likely...In fact, as they track those employees of their study group, the high hope employees missed on average about 20 hours a year, whether it was sickness over that time. The low hope, they missed on average about 10 days a year, and again, that was the differentiating factor in it. Listen to Ivy's words as he talked about it, he said, "No other workplace measure, including job satisfaction, commitment to the company, confidence to do the job, counted more than hope in determining whether an employee would show up, nothing changed their outlook more."

Tim Lundy: 02:52 You guys, I think the same is true for us more than maybe we like to admit. I think that's why scripture talks about hope so much, I think that's why hope is always paired with our faith. That it's not just enough to have faith, and faith to grind it out, you have to combine it with the hope that gives us that thing that we're looking forward to. And as we've talked about hope, just review one last time. Audacious hope is that confident, active expectation. It's the confidence, not based on us, but based on God. It's active, not passive, it's expecting, it's leaning forward, and it's based on the certainty of what God has said in his word. I'm basing my life on his word, but not just what he said, but also what he did. Specifically, what Christ has done on the cross, what Jesus did for us.

Tim Lundy: 03:46 But you need to know this, look at this second point with this, when we talk about hope. Hope, and when you see it in scripture, it's never an end in itself. It never just speaks about hope, that we're just hoping for hope sake, we just want to be people that have hope in the end. It is the catalyst for so much more, hope is this catalyzer in it. See, we don't hope for hope sake We're not calling you to be happy, clappy people, and we're Christians, and we're just happy all the time, and we're just supposed to be hopeful. Remember we talked about that, that's wishful thinking, that's just a pure optimism. No hope in scripture faces reality, but with the truth of what God has said, and the truth of what Christ has done, it's a catalyst for so much more, it impacts our life. And so today I want to look at, how are the ways that hope impacts our life? How does hope impact our life? And you're going to see the impact of audacious hope in three ways, three ways that we see in scripture, three categories with that.

Tim Lundy: 04:51 The first way that you see in it, hope impacts our growth in Jesus, hopeful people grow. When you lose hope, do you know what happens, your growth starts slowing down, we start stagnating. You'll see it in a couple of categories. The first way is in the area of spiritual discipline. Spiritual discipline, when I use that term, these are those spiritual habits that you form in order to grow. The spiritual discipline of reading the Bible. The spiritual discipline of being in prayer. The spiritual discipline of worshiping, of serving, of those things, that they're spiritual habits that we do. Look how Paul puts it to Timothy, he says, "Reject those myths fit only for godless and gullible." There were a lot of myths, there was a lot of fake news going around then. And Paul told Timothy don't get caught up in that stuff, don't believe everything you hear, don't believe everything that you read. With that, you know, this is actually great news today. I just tell you, there's a lot of myths out there, and Christians don't need to be caught up in every conspiracy theory, everything that goes out there. Paul says, you don't need to spend your time on that. Look what he says, "Instead, train yourself for godliness." That word train is literally, gumnadzo, we get gymnasium. Hey, go to the spiritual gym. “Physical exercise has some value, (He says, it's good to work out physically.) But godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” Then when you practice these spiritual disciplines, it has every bit of value. "This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. In fact..." And this is what I want you to notice in this passage, he's talking about his own life. "...this is why we work hard and struggle." This is why Paul says, I buffet my body. This is why Paul says, man, I stay disciplined, this is why I stay in the game, this is why I work so hard. Why does he work so hard and struggle? Because we have set our hope on the living God. He says, I work hard because I'm a man of hope. I work hard because I believe this is true. I work hard because I believe God actually speaks through his word, I think he meets me in prayer, I think he's changing my life. And I work hard at it, because I have hope in the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially of believers.

Tim Lundy: 07:15 Guys, this is so important because I think in this time when our world has been so disrupted, and our schedules are disrupted, it's easy to get out of some of the core habits of life. Maybe some of the normal things you did when you got up and you spent time in God's Word, you got up and you had a normal pattern around that. It's easy to lose that, and lose that sense of spiritual discipline. And I think it's not just the disruption in our schedule, I think it's also an indicator of the disruption in our hope, as this keeps dragging on and we lose hope, we start losing some of those patterns. I encourage you where, you can look in your own life. And we don't do it just for habit sake, we do it because we believe God actually moves through it and speaks to it. But I'd encourage you, because we're people of hope, we need to be people of the word, we need to be people of prayer, we need to be people of worship.

Tim Lundy: 08:13 I'd encourage you, I think one of the things that's been most disruptive, one of those habits of the heart's spiritual discipline, is coming and worshiping together. And we've lost the ability to do that for months at a time. Now I'm so thankful that we can do the Venture live services, but they're smaller, it's not our full church body. I would encourage you, I found this in my home and I found it in my life, when this first started and we were going to church online, as a family, is we did it very sporadically. You know, one person would watch it, or that, or you knew you could watch it on demand. And sometimes you'd find yourself watching it, and maybe you do something else with it, you're on your phone, you're knocking something on the computer, we lose the discipline of worship in that. And so as a family, we just made a choice, we said, no, this is not what God's called us to do. And so we picked a time, we picked one of the services. Lea and I would get up and we make breakfast together, we have the breakfast and we all sit down together, we'd put the phones away and we choose to engage in that. It's not the same as coming to church, but in that it was that habit of holiness, of wanting to be formed by this. And I just want to encourage you, it's healthy, whether it's in your worship, whether it's in your reading, that you do that because you have hope that God's doing something.

Tim Lundy: 09:36 It's kind of like a diet, nobody goes on a diet just to diet. I've never met somebody, when you go to him and say, hey, you're on a diet? Yes. Are you losing weight? Are you trying to get healthier? Oh no, no, none of those things, I just like dieting. I just love that feeling of being hungry all the time. I love giving up my favorite foods. Nobody says that, do they? The only reason you diet, is you have hope. You believe that through this process, I have hope that I'm either going to lose weight, or hope that my health will get better in the process. In the same way in our spiritual growth, hope is a fundamental element with that. And if Satan can convince you that it's not going to change, you're not going to grow, you can settle into patterns and you lose that.

Tim Lundy: 10:26 Now, with that, it's not just spiritual discipline, notice this, it's also our purity. We grow in purity because of hope. Look how First John puts it, First John 3, "Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears..." And that's talking about Jesus, when he comes back one day, when we see him, he's talking about eternity. He says, we're God's kids now, but one day we're going to see him. And when he appears, we shall be like him, we'll be finally changed, we're no longer in these fleshly bodies. If we're still on this planet, when he comes back, we'll meet him in the air and we'll be changed in a moment. If we die, then whatever was buried is resurrected, ultimately, and we have a glorified body. We're going to be absolutely changed because we will see him as he is. And notice what he says in this, "And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." So he's talking about that day when you stand before him, you're going to be absolutely pure, I can't wait for that day. I'm telling you, I can't wait for that day because not only will sin be gone, here's what I'm excited about, my sin will be gone. Not just your sin or anybody else's, I'm excited mine will be gone. And when it's gone, all the impact of sin is gone, and all the hurt I've experienced or I've given will be gone in that. All the guilt will be gone, all the shame will be gone, literally no shred of evidence of it, sin is gone, I'll be absolutely pure in him. I cannot wait for that day, and the hope of that day, purifies me today.

Tim Lundy: 12:16 Do you hear what John's telling us? As we look forward to the culmination of what Christ has done in our lives, when we're finally glorified, when we finally get to experience all of salvation. That hope has an impact on me today, because I know what he is going to do and what he is doing, and it makes me want to live in that more. Guys, we need this today, let's be honest, we live in an age and a culture where people struggle with purity. We are bombarded with images, with shows, with pornography, so many people are trapped in it. And it's not just out there, it's in the church. And sometimes we pretend like it's not even there, we don't even want to talk about it, everybody's so shamed in so many different ways. And you know what Satan loves to do and that, he loves to discourage you because if he can discourage you, and get you to believe that you're never going to change, you're always stuck in this. See, it spirals downward, the discouragement leads to the behavior, which leads to the discouragement, which leads to the behavior. See, that's why it's so important, that you need a verse like this that you remember, wait a second, Jesus is changing me. Wait a second, one day, this will all be gone, even the struggles with will be gone. And I'm going to look to him and I'm going to trust him, and I'm going to hope. And I'm going to hope enough, and here's what I'd encourage you, that you'd hope enough and you'd be honest enough that you'd invite some other people on your struggles, that you don't carry it alone. That we would recognize that this is endemic among people, and so many people are carrying it. See, we don't do that if we get trapped in shame, you don't do that if you pull back in discouragement, you don't do that if you think that you're a worthless cause or a hopeless cause. Do you know what catalyzes that? When you trust Jesus enough, you have enough hope that he can claim anything in your life, you have enough hope that he's making you more like him. Because we need hope, because it impacts our spiritual growth.

Tim Lundy: 14:31 Here's the second big category, audacious hope, it impacts how we face hard times. It impacts how we face the hard things in life. And you'll see this in a couple of ways, the first area of this, is just suffering. And we've talked about this a lot through this series, that as Christian's you're going to face suffering. Hope does not make you immune to suffering, being a Christian, doesn't keep you from suffering, but it changes how you face it. Look how Paul puts it in Second Corinthians, he says, "Our hope for you is unshaken." I love that line, he says, it's unshaken, and we are totally hopeful for you. "We know that you share in our sufferings, you'll also share in our comfort." And look how he describes his sufferings, "We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself." And when Paul talks about this, I mean, he was shipwrecked, he was stoned, he was beaten, he was thrown in prison, he knows what it means to suffer. "Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, but that was to make us not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead." He says, God had us go through all that so that we would trust him more, and not rely on ourselves. "He delivered us from such deadly peril..." And then he turns and he said, "...and he will deliver us." Man, if he did it in the past, he's going to do it in the future. "On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again." Do you hear his words? Paul has been through every bit of suffering that you can go through, but he goes, we haven't given up hope. We have an unshaken hope, no matter what we face, because we've seen God work in the past and we know he's going to work in the future.

Tim Lundy: 16:14 I want to challenge you, that would be a good phrase for you to grab. Man, God, I want unshaken hope. I want the kind of hope that I'm going to go ahead and resolve now, I'm going to be hopeful no matter what I face. Because no matter what I face, I know you're going to use it in my life. I'm not giving up hope, I'm not going to shake in my hope, I need an unshaken hope. Because you recognize, he can use any part of life to shape us more like him. Now, John Kessler is a professor at Moody Bible Institute, and he wrote in his spiritual autobiography, just the story of his brother, George. He says, Right after George was born, he had a collapsed lung. And because of that, it impacted him, he had a learning disability. As a grownup he would struggle with it, and he was ridiculed a lot, even in his own family he was ridiculed. And he says, George was just a series of just pain after pain, that he struggled with school. He got married, and his wife cheated on him in the first year, ended in divorce. The only job that he really felt confident and knew how to do, right after that time, he lost his job. And John and George had become disconnected, but one night as John was lying in bed, God woke him up. And he said, it was as clear as day, God said, pray for George, George is in trouble. And he got out of bed and got on his knees, and he just started praying desperately for his brother. He found out later, his father called and said, your brother tried to commit suicide the other night. His roommate, his apartment roommate found him, he had cut it pretty deep in his wrist. And if it had just been a few minutes later, he probably would have bled out. John asked, when was it? It was the exact same night. What time was it? It was the exact same time. See God wasn't done with George God wasn't done with John. And as a family, they moved in and said, George, you can't give up, but it's got to start with the faith journey, George didn't believe in Christ yet. And so George started listening to them, he started going counseling, he got on some medication to help with his depression, he got some training to work with his learning disability. He started working as an EMT while he went to school, and ultimately graduated with honors. He started going to church and he met a woman named Jan, and he was so captivated by her faith, that was the final step, he put his faith in Jesus Christ. And this man, George, when he became a Christian, he wanted to use all the pain in his life to serve others. Ultimately, he became the chaplain for the Detroit fire department. Listen to John's words, I love how he summarize it. He talks about his brother, George, he says, "He doesn't regret the difficulties he faced. He doesn't see them as an unfortunate twist of fate, or himself as a victim of circumstance, he sees them as tools, wielded by the gracious hand of God. Without them, he says, I wouldn't be the person I am today. George doesn't consider any of his accomplishments remarkable. I'm just a survivor, he says, I'm no hero. John says though, perhaps he's not a hero to others, certainly not to himself, but he is to me." See, he's a man who didn't give up hope, and through Christ, through that perseverance, instead of resenting all the things that happened in his life. He looks back on them and says, God used that to shape me, and now I can serve others.

Tim Lundy: 20:05 See, guys, that's why hope is so important. That's why hope impacts us in times of suffering. And I've seen it as a pastor, you'll talk to some people that are going through hard circumstances, some people that have gone through the hardest of circumstances. And yet, when you hear hope, it's the difference maker. And then I've talked to others, that frankly, their circumstances aren't that hard, but they've lost hope. It's amazing how quickly they give up, they give up at home, they give up in a marriage, they give up at a job, they give up in circumstances because they refuse to believe that God could use this in their life.

Tim Lundy: 20:47 Guy's this impacts us, not only in our suffering, even when we face death. Even when we face death, even when we lose someone. Look how Paul puts it in First Thessalonians, he says, "I don't want you to be uninformed brothers about those who are asleep." He's talking about those who've died. If you've lost someone who died, look what he says, "That you may not grieve as others do, who have no hope." Now, let's be careful here. Paul's not saying, don't grieve. As Christians, we grieve, we grieve deeply, but he says, we grieve differently as well. See, we don't grieve like people who have no hope. We don't grieve like people who are not sure what's on the other side of eternity. We don't grieve like people who believe when someone's gone, we never see them again. Because we know in Christ, as painful, as grieving as it is to lose them, we still have hope, we hold to that hope.
Tim Lundy: 21:53 You know, one of the people I've always admired is Tony Dungy, a former pro football coach. And now he's
a commentator, you see him. I just love the way he carries himself, I love the way he expresses his faith very openly. And even though he's in a tough and rough and tumble world, he's a soft-spoken man who led all the way to the success, he went all the way and won the Super Bowl. And as I've watched his life, and he's been very outspoken about his faith. I don't know if you remember, years ago, his 18 year old son committed suicide, and it was devastating. It just, it happened very quickly, and everybody in the world I think was watching to see how would this man, this godly man, handled this. At the Memorial service, Tony said these words, and he said to other fathers. He said, "God can provide joy in the midst of a sad occasion, and the challenge is to find that joy. I urge you not to take your relations for granted. Parents hug your kids each chance you get, tell them you love them each chance you get, you don't know when it's going to be the last time." Tony had seen his son over Thanksgiving holiday, and his son had to leave very quickly and he didn't get that last chance to hug him. So he was just telling father's, telling parents, hey, take every opportunity. But notice he says these words as well. He said, "James was a good young man with a compassionate heart, we were so glad to have him for 18 years. We're also glad that he accepted Christ as his savior, so that God has him now for the rest of eternity." So even in the middle of the pain, do you hear what he's saying? Here's my hope, my son knew Jesus, my son is with Jesus, and one day I'll see him again. Guys, hope impacts all of life, but it especially impacts how we face death and how we face loss.

Tim Lundy: 23:57 You know, there's one last category that that hope impacts. The impact of hope, it impacts our witness to the world. And this one is so important, it is so important right now. In fact, there's a verse that I want us to look at in First Peter chapter 3. And this would be a great passage, write this down, go read this later. Look at this in your Bible, this verse is so accurate to what we face today. He says, "Even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you'll be blessed." He's writing to a church that's suffering in the world, they're facing persecution. But he says, "Don't have fear of people, don't be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as Holy." So here's what you need to do, God needs to be your Lord, you need to obey him. And then look at this line, "Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." Do you hear that line? He says, you live is Christ is Lord, and then just be ready. Be ready to be able to tell people when they look at your life, and they ask you, why do you have so much hope? Then you can go, man, let me tell you about Jesus. Man, that's great words for today. But when you do it, you don't do it to try to win the argument. You don't do it to put them down. You don't do it because they're all wrong. Look how you do it, he says, "You do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscious so that when your slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame."

Tim Lundy: 25:29 Guys, these would be tremendous words for us to live out. But at the core of this passage, notice what he says, we're living in a way that people would ask us about our hope. We're living in a way that they go, you have hope, now tell me why? It's such a powerful witness. You know, Randy Kilgore leads a marketplace ministry. And he was writing about a conversation he had with a woman. He was on a train with a woman, and she was not a woman of faith, and she was talking about Christians at work in that. And he asked her a question, he does this a lot with people, he just wants to find out. He says, the question was, what are the five things you would want from coworkers who claim to be Christians? What are the five things? And as she went through it, he marked it. And he said in all the years of having this conversation, of asking this question, it almost always comes back to these five things. You know what she wanted? Here's the first one, she said, I wish my Christian coworkers knew more about their faith, what they actually believe and why. Because when I start to talk to them about it, I just get glib answers, or quick answers, and they don't seem to really know what they believe. See Peter said, hey, you need to be ready to give an defense, to know why you believe. The second thing she said is, I wish my Christian coworkers had more hope in hard times. I'm looking for somebody with hope, and you would think the person that would have the most hope would be Christians. But I find they get as rattled as everybody else, they don't seem to hold onto that hope. Look at the third thing she said, I wish my Christian coworkers were more curious about the hard questions of life. So that when they were asked those questions, they would have answers. I don't want to just glib, I wish they would be willing to wrestle with deeper things. Fourth, I wish my Christian coworkers behaved more honorably, that they would live distinct lives, according to what they teach. And the final one she just said is, I wish my Christian coworkers were more compassionate. That it's okay that they have passion about what they believe, but they don't have to be harsh with people who don't believe what they believe, that they would have compassion in it. Do you hear in her words, what she wants? It's everything Peter taught. That Peter says, hey, you need to be ready with a defense. You need to wrestle with your faith. You need to live as hopeful people. You need to respond with gentleness, with respect to others. You need to be this bastion of hope in a world that needs it.

Tim Lundy: 28:17 And in guys, here's the point, the hope is not just for us. The hope is not the end in itself, we want to be that kind of hopeful people because it impacts our witness to the world, it impacts why we're here. And we live in a world that desperately needs hope. We live in a world that desperately needs to look somewhere, and the church is the body of Jesus Christ. The church is that expression of hope that they should look to and they go, oh, okay, those people are rooted in something different, tell me what it's all about.

Tim Lundy: 28:55 You know, I'll close with one of the best images of hope I know, it's actually a tree, it's an American Elm tree, it's in Oklahoma city. The tree is about 80 years old, it's not the most beautiful tree in the world, but you'll find people drive up to it every day, people get their picture taken with it, it's because of what that tree represents. See, it was the tree in Oklahoma city that when Timothy McVeigh, the bomber, he drove his truck up full of explosives, just yards from that tree. When it exploded, and the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building came down, and 168 lives were lost, and hundreds more injured. And the devastation of the pain, and the rubble of that building came and landed on that tree. And when they finally dug it out, no one thought it would live. It was covered in ashes, it was marred, but the tree kept living. And then that spring, they started seeing some buds, they saw new leaves. They saw it continue to grow, it was named the Survivor Tree. You'll see it on letterheads, you'll see it as a symbol of the city, because it's a symbol of hope in all this wreckage, and all this pain, and all this death, and all this heartache, that there was something there rooted and it stayed alive and it gives hope.

Tim Lundy: 30:37 Guys, that's the church, that's what we're called to be. In a fallen world where people are dealing with sinfulness, where people are dealing with pain, where people are dealing with so much around them, the suffering of it, Jesus Christ said, I have planted my church, and the gates of hell itself can't stand against it. We are the people and symbol of hope, not based on who we are, but based on who we're rooted in. And he's calling us to live life in a way, to live hopeful lives, not perfect lives, but hopeful lives. The kind of lives that when people rub shoulders with us, they go, can you tell me the reason for your hope? And we get to point them to Jesus. Because it's audacious, it's beyond us. In fact, it would be too good to be true, if it wasn't based on Jesus Christ and what God has promised us all throughout his word.

Tim Lundy: 31:47 Let's pray, Father, I thank you, thank you for Jesus, I thank you for the hope that he gives us. Lord, I pray we'd live in that hope. Would we be a church and people who grow, because we have hope, that we discipline ourselves. That we want to be pure, expecting that day of purity when we stand before you, that you will completely change us that day, and so we believe you're changing us today. Lord, I pray, we'd have hope. And especially those who are facing suffering, those are facing death, Lord, would you give them an unshakeable hope in the middle of it? And Lord, I pray, we would have hope, so that we could point the world to you. That we could live in a way, again, not perfect lives, but hopeful lives. So that people would ask for the reason of the hope in us, and we could point them to Jesus Christ. In whose name, we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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