Enter Into Hope

We Can Trust That Finding Hope In God Will Not Disappoint

Jeff Taylor
Nov 27, 2022    49m
Have you been struggling to feel hopeful? This message reminds us that when we find our hope in God rather than in ourselves, we will not be disappointed. The hope comes from knowing that God is going to move, and that there will be better days ahead. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Intro: [00:00:00] Hey there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at LBF.church to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Emma Taylor: [00:00:19] What a beautiful thing that all the Earth will shout his name every tribe, every tongue will shout together. My name is Emma Taylor, I'm part of Exit83 Student Ministries, and today I will be reading Isaiah 9:1-7, Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future, he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— 2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." This is God's Word.

Video: [00:01:51] (Video Plays)

Jeff Taylor: [00:02:22] Did anybody have those laser tag guns? Did anybody have those? Oh, I wanted those so bad. Oh, those were the best ever. Now, for you older people, I didn't say old, I said older, do you remember the Toys R US Christmas catalog, right? The hours and maybe even farther back, the Sears Christmas catalog, and all the hours like pouring through those circling the things that you want and just like leaving it out in the open, right? Tearing out pages and being like, I've got to show somebody this right? And the longing, the hope that all you needed was that A-Team van with Mr. T action figure, it's going to change your life. That was all you'd hope for.

Jeff Taylor: [00:03:08] Now, if you're a little younger, the months and hours spent carefully crafting your Amazon wish list, right? Highlighting, sending links, creating notes that you make available publicly just for anybody to be able to see, and the hope that we put into these things, the longing. Oh, I can't wait for the day to see. And if we didn't get a Christmas morning at home, that's okay, we still had grandpa and nanny, right? And so the longing of all of that, and we, I mean, from the youngest age, we started singing songs about the longings that we had had at Christmas. Right. All I want for Christmas is...Okay, note to self no Christmas choir this year. Okay? And then as Bing Crosby so eloquently crooned, I'm dreaming of a... And you know, the season is here the first time you hear this on Coast 103.5, oh, it's here. The longing that we have, this desire in our hearts for these things. Now, this is referred to by many as the season of Advent, which is the hoping, the longing, for Christ to return. And the celebration that He has been here, and he has done everything necessary for us to be able to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. And that's something to have hope in, that's something that we celebrate. And the themes of Advent are hope, peace, joy, and love. Right?

Jeff Taylor: [00:05:10] And over the next four weeks, we're going to be diving into these themes of Advent. But I want to encourage you to do it in this way, as we talk about, like today, we're talking about hope. And as we talk about hope, I want you to seriously consider in your own life, in your faith, in your relationship with Jesus, or if you're here this morning and you wouldn't call yourself a Christian, you're just here for a little religion in your life. Let me first just say, I'm so glad that you're here. You should be here. You should keep coming because you're going to hear the truth here that's going to bring you life, life beyond what you expect, life beyond what you could do for yourself. So if you're here this morning and you're not a Christian, keep coming, because I believe that God's going to move in your life and God's going to speak to you.

Jeff Taylor: [00:05:58] But as we're talking about hope, I want you to consider this with two words. Enter in, are you entering into the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love that God has for you? Enter in, not just observe, not just sing songs about, not just decorate for, but actually enter into this hope-filled relationship, this hopeful experience that goes beyond what you'd be able to do for yourself. It goes beyond what you could conjure up, what you could make happen, and what any lights or decorations, or gifts could ever do. Are you in a place where you're going, okay, all the fun stuff of Christmas, okay, it's fun, that's great? But, God, I'm ready to enter in, I'm ready to enter into whatever you have for me, beyond my understanding, beyond just learning and reading what the Bible says and just being like, okay, I comprehend that, actually entering into the promise of God and what He's offered us through Jesus. So as we talk about this over the next few weeks, are you ready to enter in?

Jeff Taylor: [00:07:23] Now as we consider entering in, I have a question about this. So we have a gift here, and in case you can't see it from wherever you're at, the tag says, best gift ever. Best gift ever. Do you believe that this is the best gift ever? No, you don't. Do you know how I know you don't? It's still here, it's still sitting here. If you believed that, that was the best gift ever, no stage, no wrapping paper would be able to keep you from it. You'd be like, oh, I've got to have that, that's entering in, that's longing, that is expectation, where we go, there's nothing, not my mood, not my circumstances, not my rationale and my logic, nothing is going to keep me from getting what is available to me. And that's often what happens with things like this, is the reason you didn't come up here, which, by the way, thank you because it's a prop. But the reason you didn't get up here and tear into this is because, one, maybe you weren't sure it was for you. You're like, well, I'm not going to go take something that's not mine. Or two, you go, you know, I don't know, it's probably not that great, I mean, best gift ever, I mean, that might be a little exaggeration. And so I don't know, is it really worth climbing up onto the stage, potentially, like doing something that you're not sure about? So either one, you don't know if it's for you, or two you're not sure it's really worth it. These are the kinds of things that hold us back from entering into the things that God has for us. These are the reasons that we settle for religion. These are the reasons that we believe that the most that God could possibly do, is give me some sort of like feeling inside on a Sunday when they start a song that we like. Or when the message is humorous enough or deep enough, or when we go through the rituals of either faith or our families or whatever, that's it.

Jeff Taylor: [00:09:48] And maybe you're wrestling today when it comes to this gift that God has for you, this gift of hope that God has for you. And you're wondering, is this really for me? Maybe you're wrestling with, do I deserve this? The answer to that is no. But do you know what? He's gifting it to you anyway. Maybe you're wrestling with, I don't know if I qualify? The answer is no. But he's gifting it to you anyway, he's making that available to you anyway. In the Bible, which is God's word to us, we are given such a picture of a promise of a relationship that we should be tearing into, that we should be entering into, going, I've got to have that. Why? Why would I not? I mean, look at it, look at it. Sometimes we get mixed up because we're like, oh, well, it's not shaped like something I want. It doesn't look like a 1968 Gibson 335 guitar.

Jeff Taylor: [00:10:58] So then we move on to the other one, is it really worth it? But we are promised in God's Word to us when he talks to us, going, look, not only is it for you. Let's start there. Galatians 3:26, we're promised that if we put our faith in Jesus, we are forgiven for the ways that we have lived against God, that's sin, and we are called children of God. As you put your faith in Jesus, you are a child of God. Do you know what that means about who this gift is for? You. The gift of hope is for you, as you put your faith in Jesus. The gift of hope is for you because you're a child of God. And we see that this gift is eternal salvation, a relationship with the Almighty God, and everlasting life when this one is done. And until this life is done, we see that in this relationship as we are filled with the Holy Spirit, what is evidenced in our life is supernatural, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that's a gift I want to get into. So that is evidence to us that this gift is for us and this gift is worth opening, it's worth it, he's given this to us because it's going to bring us life.

Jeff Taylor: [00:12:45] But we do this with God, where we hear about it, we're like, hey, the gift of everlasting life, the gift of supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hope, joy, peace, and love. And we go, look at it, and we admire it, we stand here, and we go, boy, look how great that gift is, and we never open it. We may show up every day going, wow, look how great this gift is, and we never open it.

Jeff Taylor: [00:13:30] Sometimes on Sundays, we go, wow, wow. Are we ready, are we willing, to enter in? As I've been praying over this morning, and as I've been praying for you, I believe that there is stuff that God wants to do in people's lives here to bring you in, to bring you closer than you've ever been before. That God, God wants to speak to the people who are here this morning who keep believing the lie that this isn't for you, who keep believing the lie that you're not good enough, that you don't deserve it after what you did, after the language you use, after the ways you failed in your marriage, after the ways that you let your temper get the best of you. That hope, it's not for you.

Jeff Taylor: [00:14:49] But as we enter in, as we take God's word seriously, one of the things that we see about hope is that it is the expectation that God is going to move and the expectation that there are better days ahead. Now, this is where we come up short in the sense of, what is your idea of better days ahead? Sometimes my expectation of a better day is just a good day, plus a little bit. Sometimes my expectation of a better day is just not worse than today. And our expectation, the level of better days, what are you open to? Because the level of hope you are expecting to enter into will be dictated by who you believe this Savior of the world was, is. That's what's going to dictate what you hope for, is it going to be just a little more, or is it going to be life-changing? Is it going to redirect your life from you trying really hard doing everything that you can do, succeeding in school, succeeding in business, succeeding with your family, and trying your hardest, and just hoping for the best? Or is it going to mean something supernatural happens in your life? And you trust that it's going to be the work of God in you that's going to bring the change that you can't bring yourself, it's going to set you free, it's going to break you from the things in life that are holding you down. And we're going to talk about that in just a second. In his letter to the believers in Rome, Paul said, "We boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character..." What? "...hope." It's not a very easy journey to hope, right? "And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who He has given to us.". Another translation says this hope in God does not disappoint. Imagine a hope that does not disappoint, it doesn't run out of batteries, it doesn't break, it's not less impressive because it doesn't resemble what was in the commercial, it doesn't seem to work that way. This hope does not disappoint. And this is going to be key for what we're going to talk about this morning and moving on in the coming weeks because some of you, when it comes to hope, you have enough hope to get you here, you have enough hope to get you to church and your hope is in whatever happens up here on the stage, but you head back to work, you head back to your family, and you're wondering where it went. And it's even caused you to go, all right, Jeff, I hear you talking about this hope, I don't want to be disappointed. I don't want to keep getting my hopes up that God's going to change me or God's going to change my family or God, and so I better handle it. The hope that he promises, the hope that we see in here as you read this, is a hope that doesn't disappoint. It's not going to be a hope where you're like, o q12h, well, that was less than spectacular, because I'm telling you, Mr. T in that van is much smaller than I thought he would be. And we do that with God, where we like, oh, I'm afraid God's going to be much smaller than I hoped he would be. And he promises that this hope will not disappoint because this is a Spirit-filled hope. So what are you longing for? What are you longing for in your heart? Right here, sitting here this morning, what are you longing for? Where you are just like, ah, I need that. Will you dare yourself to hope? But it's going to require that you don't just keep hoping in yourself, you know, that doesn't work, will you hope in the one who does not disappoint?

Jeff Taylor: [00:19:48] In Isaiah chapter 9, you can turn there in your Bible, or if you've got your phone or iPad, you can look at it on your [inaudible]. You can see that this is a prophetic message, one of the aspects of prophecy is that God speaks to people through people. So Isaiah was a prophet, so God is going to speak through Isaiah to the people. And starting in chapter 9, it paints this picture of people in darkness and fear, and despair. Some of you here this morning, you're like, yep, that's me. But then says, but there is hope and light and peace that's coming. Not because of some political policy. Not because you've figured out how to run your family perfectly. There's hope, and it's a prophetic word of this is what's coming for them.

Jeff Taylor: [00:20:55] Isaiah 9 starting in verse 1," Nevertheless", Okay stop, nevertheless means that he's talking about something prior to this, and so in chapter 8, what you see is that Israel has rejected God and rejected God's command and rejected God's promise, and so they are living in darkness, they're living in despair, but God has planned at some point to bring a light. And he's speaking here, it's interesting, he's speaking in the past tense because it's a prophetic word of something that's going to happen, so for us, it's already happened. So here we go, "Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress." Anybody here, you're feeling gloomy, you're feeling distressed? "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." The gloom of the judgment that the people were under will not be their future. That's a good promise, right? That's something where you're like, all right, I want to hope in that, that the gloom that they're experiencing is not their future. Gloom and distress, right? To honor. Amen. God, bring it into our lives. Deep darkness, to great light. Man, it's easy to sit in the dark, yeah? Man, you can get comfortable. I get sleepy in the dark. I could never live in Washington, right, it's just like too gloomy, too dark. Man, it's easy to settle in. He's going to look, where there is gloom, where there is deep darkness, there is light that's coming, there is light available. And he goes on to reference how God has humbled the nations of Zebulun and Naphtali. And in the future, blessing will come through in Galilee, right, in the nation of Galilee. Which, as I recall, if you keep reading, Jesus did quite a bit of ministry. Where? Galilee, right?

Jeff Taylor: [00:23:20] Now, the next portion in this passage of Scripture really paints this picture of like the anticipation of childbirth. I read one guy phrase it, and he is like these verses are full of pregnant phrases. Maybe pun intended, although I'm not sure. And when you're waiting for the birth of a child, that is never a casual excitement, right? You talk to a mom or a dad who are currently expecting a child soon, it's never like, oh, yeah, at some point, I guess. It's never casual, it is always an excitement of like, yes, I cannot wait, I want this to happen, it can't come soon enough.

Jeff Taylor: [00:24:11] So let's pause for a second as you read this, as you read God's word, do you feel great anticipation for what he promises and desires to do in your life? Just for yourself, it doesn't matter whether the person next to you feels the same way, for you, do you read God's promises, do you read God's truth, the Word of God, and do you get like a person awaiting childbirth? You go, yes, God, do that. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control at supernatural levels, yes, I'm ready. Or do we look at it and we go, okay, that's really nice, but I'm not sure it's for me. I'm not sure it's going to be that great. Do you read this, do you live this relationship with this kind of great anticipation, do you believe that it's available to you? And I'm really feeling like even as I'm talking right now, that is a battle that some of you are really in, the battle is you don't feel like it's for you. It might be for your family, it might be for your kids, in fact, you believe it is for your kids, you send them to youth group, you send them to life kids, you believe it for them, but you don't believe it's for you. It's for you, every day, it's for you.

Jeff Taylor: [00:25:50] Verse 3, "You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder." The nation of God is enlarged as people come to faith. And the one who he's saying is coming, who we know Jesus has come, is the one who does that.

Jeff Taylor: [00:26:16] Verse 4, "For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor." God shatters the yoke that has been put on his people. There's lots of slavery imagery coming from a nation that had been in bondage in Egypt, so that's where this imagery is coming from. And it says that God shatters the yoke that has been put on his people. So for you today, what are you a slave to? It might be a behavior, it might be a mindset, it might be an attitude, it might be a habit, what are you a slave to? Where you're going, this is what dictates whether I have hope or not. This is what dictates whether or not I believe that this is actually for me. I'm saying this with confidence, not because I'm saying it with confidence, but because this is God's word to us, God wants to break that off you. God wants to break off that yoke of slavery, he does not want you to live in it. He is not looking at you going, well, you're the one who keeps screwing up, so you just suffer, you just keep being in bondage, I don't even care. That is never the heart of God, he wants to break these things off you this morning, these things that have held you captive. He removes the bar that holds you down and the rod that oppresses you. Does anybody want to be free to hope again this morning? Do you want to be free to hope? Because if I were to ask you, hey, do you want to have hope, every person in the room would be like, uh huh. But if we were to go through and be like, hey, do you feel like you are free to have hope? There would be all kinds of reasons for all kinds of people that would be like, well, no. I believe there is hope, and I would like hope, I don't believe I'm free to hope. God wants to remove that from your life today. God wants you to embrace the truth, that He removes the bar that holds you down and the rod that oppresses you. And in case you're thinking that your yoke, that your rod is too great, as I'm talking, you're like yeah, but, Jeff, you don't understand the slavery I'm in. You don't understand the rod holding me down. I mean, this is a big rod, I mean, it's powerful.

Jeff Taylor: [00:28:54] Well, in verse 4, he references something about Midian’s defeat, "For as in the day of Midian’s defeat." That goes back to something, to an encounter in the Book of Judges earlier on in chapter 7, where Gideon's Army, a massive army of 300 people, comes up against the Midianites. The description of that is that they covered the land like locusts. There is no way that Gideon's 300 guys, no matter how hard they tried, was going to be able to beat the Midianites. But God says, Uh huh. So Gideon's army blows their trumpets, and all the Midianites start fighting each other and drive each other off the land. So if you're here this morning and you're going, yeah, but the yoke of my slavery, the road that oppresses me, is just too great and too big. Do you realize what you're saying about God? That even though God has done this before, even though God has promised to do it again in huge, miraculous ways, yeah, but not for Jeff in 2022. You need to reject that lie, you need to take that lie captive to the authority of Christ and be like, no, no, no, no, no more. I will be set free because God breaks the yoke of the bondage of sin. God sets us free in his mighty power, and this is what we have hope in.

Jeff Taylor: [00:30:39] There's nothing you can face where hope in the Lord should not be expected. There's nothing you should face where hope in the Lord should not be what you expect, I want you to go, yes, God, okay, I'm ready, come and do this. Romans 8:37 says, "We are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength." We're more than conquerors. So whether it's your job, your marriage, your friendships, or your schooling, in all of these things, our hope is not in ourselves, it can be, I mean, you can try it if you want to. Hope that's not in ourselves, but in the Almighty God is what sets us free.

Jeff Taylor: [00:31:31] Verse 5, "Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire." Okay, gross. And what? This is saying that even through the difficulties and the hurt and the battles that you've walked through, all of that stuff, the things that have come against you, God is going to be faithful, again, to his word, he's going to be faithful to use that as fuel for the fire of life in your life. God's going to use the bloodstains, the boots, the hard, all of these things that have come against you, that you could roll over and be like, oh, it's too much, I can't overcome this. And God's going, no, no, no, no, no, I'm going to use that stuff as fuel for the fire. God can do this in our lives. Jesus declared, in this world, you'll have trouble, but I have come to what? Overcome the world. Yes, hope, that's why we have hope, not because I can try harder, or I can figure this out. Jesus, in this world, you'll have trouble, it's going to be hard, there's going to be blood, there's going to be boots, there's going to be all these things. But you're going to be able to overcome the world.

Jeff Taylor: [00:32:59] In Romans 8 Paul reminds us, "That in all things God works them together for good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose.". That God's going to take all the hurt and the brokenness and the turmoil as we surrender it to him and we go, God, I need you to bring this life, and he's going to use it for fuel in your life. So the stuff that's beating you down, the stuff that you're just tired of, the habits that you can't break, God's going, give it to me, I'm going to use it as fuel for the fire. Why? Because in him, we are more than conquerors. There is the temptation to walk around like we're not conquerors. We walk around just feeling beat up and we're just it's too much, and I can't handle this anymore, and I don't know what I'm going to do. And God's going, right, but in me, you're more than conquerors, will you trust in that?

Jeff Taylor: [00:33:58] And if this is the promise, if this is the hope, where is this coming from? Verse 6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Wonderful counselor, an infinitely wonderful counselor. Who are you putting your hope in? Who do you turn to? Romans 11 says, all counsel, the counsel that you want, comes from God. In Psalm 73, we saw this last week, Asaph declared, "You guide me with your counsel." Are you inviting God to do that? He's a mighty God, an infinitely strong God, there is nothing that you're going to face where God is, you know, alongside you, pacing back and forth, going, oh, I don't know, Steve, I don't know what we're going to do either. We imagine God kind of like, or God's standing back and going like, yeah, I don't know, you got yourself into this.

Jeff Taylor: [00:35:06] He is an infinitely Mighty God. How mighty is the God that you put your hope in? Is he the best version of you, plus a little bit? That can be easy to slip into, right? If we're struggling and we're like, well, God might be able to handle the car keys thing, but the whole marriage thing, I don't know, I'm just going to have to work on that myself. Who is the mighty God that you're putting your faith in?

Jeff Taylor: [00:35:36] Psalm 147 says, "Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." All right, I can put my hope in that God, Everlasting Father, infinitely caring. Jesus said, I will not leave you as orphans, that is the heart of an infinitely caring Father. Prince of Peace, to be able to produce peace, to be the producer of peace, the source of peace. We're going to get into this in future weeks, but peace with God and peace in this life. A healing peace in Isaiah, he was pierced for our transgressions, "He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." Paul talked about it to the Ephesians, a reconciling piece destroying the barrier between us and God and peace in this life. In Philippians 4, "Don't be anxious about anything." Which on the surface we go, ha. But where's your hope? "But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This is the peace that he has for us, and when we recognize that peace, when we go, oh, that's what's available to me, all of a sudden, our hope goes, oh, and it's not up to me. The hope comes when we realize it's not up to me to do this, to be better, to accomplish more, or to get my act together, it's about following Jesus and letting him do the work.

Jeff Taylor: [00:37:36] And then verse 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. In Second Samuel 7, David was promised that someone from his family line would sit on this throne forever. Guess whose family line Jesus is in? Right? And so we go, oh, look, Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise, and then he's the fulfillment of this prophecy, "He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever." But unlike David's reign, the rule of Jesus will never end.

Jeff Taylor: [00:38:31] How many things that you put your hope in are temporary? Right? I heard an interesting use of this phrase; this too shall pass. So if you're in a really bad situation, a lot of times we use it as encouragement, this too shall pass. If you're in a really great situation and everything's going your way and you're like, yes, who I want to be in office is in office, my kids are getting their act together, the money we feel whatever about the money, don't worry, this too shall pass. And when we put our hope in these things, it's so temporary, in everything in life. Students, how many semesters in school have passed? All of them. Right? How many government leadership seats have passed? All of them. How many things in your life is your hope set on, and they're temporary things? The zeal of the Lord. Another translation of that says passionate commitment, the passionate commitment of God is forever. It's never going to leave, and it's never going to change, but stuff gets in the way.

Jeff Taylor: [00:40:03] The next total solar eclipse will be April 8th, 2024. It's going to be a complete solar eclipse, it's going to get completely in front of the sun, Right? Have you ever done that thing where someone is standing between you and the TV? I think this is a spiritual gift of eight-year-olds, they just know exactly where to stand, you're like, and you try and watch. And then you say the old man thing, like, oh, you make a better door than a window, right, and then that teaches them. And so they do that, or someone comes and stands between you and the person that you're talking to. Or we've all done that thing where you're walking towards somebody and you step, you start to move to one side, and they move to the same side, and you do that little dance until finally you just like concede and you're like. See, we can when we're eclipsed by something, we can try and work our way around. We can kind of see it, and we can try and make out what's going on, but it's in the way and we will never receive the full glory of what it's about. You can look in the general direction, which some people treat church that way. I'm going to look toward God, I'll go to church and I'll kind of...Some people do it by donating money or time or whatever, and you kind of look in the general direction.

Jeff Taylor: [00:41:30] But what's eclipsing your life right now? What's getting in the way? Is it sin? Is it you living against God? Are you deciding that what you think, what you want, and what society requires, has to be what you go for, or what you want to do, and what feels good, so I'm going to choose that? Is it yourself and your own desire of, like, I've got to do me, I've got to make myself happy, I've got to work this out? Or your doubt, your misunderstanding of the limits that you put on God because you've made God very small. What's eclipsing your heart?

Jeff Taylor: [00:42:19] I'll tell you what, if you get more out of social media, or the news, than you do from the Word of God, then your hopelessness is self-inflicted. We need to consider that, what is it that's pouring in? Or if you get more satisfaction or you're looking for more hope in your GPA, or your job, or that team, or making that team, then your hopelessness is self-inflicted. Because this is a hope that doesn't disappoint, the hope that God is calling us to is a hope that doesn't disappoint. And this gift that he has for us, it's for you, and it's worth it.

Jeff Taylor: [00:43:10] Would you stand with me? Parts of this are you surrendering, each of us surrendering. Going, God, what is it that you want to do? Okay, I'm ready, I'm ready to call it. I'm ready to just be like, all right, my hope, I've tried the money thing, I've tried the success thing, I've tried the friend thing, I've tried the popularity thing, I've done all these things, God, I need you. And prayer team and pastors and elders, if you can come up, and if everybody could bow your heads with me.

Jeff Taylor: [00:43:45] If you're in a place where you recognize that all the stuff isn't working, it's all been a disappointment, and you need to step out and you need to choose to put your hope in the one who doesn't disappoint. Just right where you're at, would you just raise your hand if this resonates with you? Not because I've talked you into it, or I've convinced you, but if this is you, just raise your hand right where you're at. And I believe that God's Word is true when he promises us that he meets us here and he works all things, and he's going to use the stuff that has brought so much hopelessness to your life as fuel for the fire that he wants to light in you.

Jeff Taylor: [00:44:39] And as we sing this song, it's this declaration, it's a pretty bold declaration. Christ alone is the cornerstone; my hope is built on nothing less. And if you're here this morning, you go, man, my hope is built on all kinds of less, I believe God wants to set you free this morning. As you come to him with a surrendered heart, will you trust that he won't disappoint you? So as we sing this, if your hand was up in the air, if it wasn't and this resonates with your heart, would you just come forward? We don't need to know what you're going through; we don't need to know all the details. The prayer team up here right now, what they're going to do is to partner with what Holy Spirit is already doing. So we're going to let God do the work, but we want to pray over you. We want to believe in this change, in this life for you, because God has hope for you. So right now, as we sing this, if that's you, just come on up and let someone pray with you.

Worship Band: [00:46:13] (Worship Band Plays)

Jeff Taylor: [00:47:59] Lord God, we proclaim your truth, and your hope over our lives right now. God, I pray that you would break off the yoke of sin, of doubt, of hopelessness, right now. We pray this in the name of Jesus, that you would supernaturally do the work that all of our efforts and our attempts could never do, that you would change us, and that you would meet us right where we're at. God, that you would remind us that you convict our hearts when we start to try and go it alone, and we start to believe and convince ourselves that we can handle this, that you would come and that you would remove the things that oppress us, that hold us down, and we would surrender to you.

Jeff Taylor: [00:48:50] And as we go this morning, everybody, I want to encourage you, we will be up here to pray with you. And one of the temptations is going to hope that you can do better, you can walk out of here and you're going to, like, hope it'll be a better week. But if it's still about you, if it's still about what you're able to do, it's going to be more of the same, but God can break off the hopelessness as you come to him. So we will be up here and want to encourage you to come up, let someone stand with you in faith, and pray over you. Otherwise, God bless you. Have a great week.

Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848