Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

HOPE FLOATS

             Hope Floats

                                            March 30, 2014

 

Psalm 3

 

“1 ¶  «A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.» LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. 2  Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God." Selah 3  But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. 4 ¶  I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah 5  I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. 6  I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around. 7  Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. 8  Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah” (Ps 3:1-8 NKJV)

 

 

There is no worse situation than when you are surrounded. There is no greater feeling of abandonment than when you discover enemies among friends. These are the times when the activation of our faith triggers the second element of the great three that Jesus told us would remain....that being HOPE.

 

Satan knows that if he can break your hope, it will be nearly impossible to progress to the third of the three....Love. When we walk in Faith, Hope and, Love, it is nearly impossible to defeat us.

 

Without Faith it is impossible to please God. If we cannot please the Father, then His hope is not in us....and consequently, we fall into the third trap that seals our fate...being a loveless life

 

But HOPE burns long and strong to those of faith. God’s HOPE is what drives us even when others say hope is gone....It persists through the dark of night and remains as a bulwark of promise that prevails just as Noah saw nothing but water all around....it is the dove with an olive branch in its mouth. Hope is our anchor to God. Hope Floats.

 

 

 

 

 

Hope  doesn't swim

 

Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 

It is a good thing to be able to swim. Aside from being good exercise, it can save your life. However, unless you are a trained athlete, swimming will eventually tire and exhaust even the greatest of us and we will be in peril.

 

Life can be like a marathon swim for some of us. It seems as though it is a constant struggle, which is not God’s best for our lives. Jesus tells us himself here in Matthew 11 that he welcomes all of us who have sore arms and cramping legs...He invites us to find our rest in him.

 

He tells us that his presence is not work, but a place of rest. He is gentle...there is no struggle...he is lowly in heart...there are no great expectations from us. He is a place of rest. His life in us creates a condition of buoyancy where we are not constantly trying in the arm of our flesh, but sustained by his love and grace.

 

 

 

Hope doesn't tread water

 

II Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV

 

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Sometimes, in the course of life, I run into people who are spiritually in the same place where they were when I last saw them 20 years ago. They have not given up on God...they simply have not grown. Our earthly life can either teach us much or it can paralyze us. Some are too connected to the world to rest in the arms of Jesus, while others are simply not trusting of the Lord to sustain them....so they tread water.

 

Treading water is swimming...but it’s not. It is the act of expending huge amounts of energy to basically stay in the same place. Our lives without hope can become the act of treading water. You are not drowning, but you are living by the act of your own energies....expending what’s left of your life in the simple act of staying head above water.

 

When we begin to understand the sufficiency of His grace, we begin to understand that His Hope is not work and it takes us somewhere.  It is like tubing on the river. The currents carry us...the inner tube supports us...we are simply along for the ride. There is no struggling to stay in the same place....the grace of God and the love of the Father sustain us.

 

 

Hope Floats

 

Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

 

 

Years ago, I was with a group of pastors at the Brownsville Revival and we went to grab lunch during a break. I was with guys who had been pastors much longer than I at that point in my ministry. I listened to them one by one share of the burdens and problems that they left behind to attend these meetings. I remembered thinking that we all must be out of our minds leaving our overloaded workbenches to take a week off and bask in the Glory of God.  Then, when we returned to session, The old executive pastor of Brownsville...a man in his 80s, made his way to the pulpit...and grabbing a microphone, he said to us all as we found our seats, “I know most of you have come here today burdened and weighed down with problems back home...and I say to you...GOOD! While you are here resting in the arms of the Lord, he is dealing with many of those situations while you are gone. Then he began to prophesy. “Many of you are here to get you out of the way, says the Lord....that I might have my way”.

 

HOPE FLOATS...there is not struggle, there is no work involved. When we settle in our hearts through faith, His Hope ensues. We are no longer involved in a battle to keep our heads above water. We no longer have to paddle hoping we are headed in the right direction. We no longer must feel the terror of doing nothing but using up the last of our energies just to breathe.

 

HOPE FLOATS...we do nothing but sit on a huge inner tube of His Holy Spirit and rest while he sustains us and takes us to our destinations upon the currents of His love and mercy. We just need the faith to get on.

 

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