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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Hope Is Not Gone

Steven Furtick - Hope Is Not Gone

Steven Furtick - Hope Is Not Gone

Verse 21: We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. We had hoped, but now we're headed home. We had hoped that it was going to be different this time. We had hoped that He was going to break our chains. We had hoped that God was going to heal our disease. We had hope that God was going to take the addiction away. We had hoped that if we prayed, we would get the peace that corresponded with the prayer, but it's over now. We had hoped. We went there. We expected it. We look forward to it, but we're headed home now because He hung on the cross and we hung our hope on the cross and now we don't know anything else to do, but to head home. And we're headed home because we don't have any hope left.

And as their headed home with no hope, hope shows up. And as their headed home with no hope, hope shows up. And with their heads hung done, with no hope in their hearts, here comes hope. But, they can't see it. They're headed home with no hope. And I don't really blame them for going home because what else are you going to do? What else are you going to do but go home if the one who was supposed to be the king, hung on a cross and wore a crown of thorns? I mean life can hit you that hard. It can and for those of you who aren't nodding or anything right now. What are you four? Really? You never had life hit you that hard, that took the breath out of you? Just knocked the breath out of you just where you felt like, I don't know what to do so you go back to familiar ways. You give up on this whole thing and you kind of turn your back on the promise and you head back to Emmaus.

Now, what they say next... this is the part that I don't understand because I understand that they're headed home because what else are you going to do, but head home. I understand they're disappointed. I understand that they're in a state of despair. I understand that they're downcast about what's happened. What I don't understand is the timing of their return trip because you know, when Jesus was on earth he told everybody who would listen over and over again, especially his disciples, He said, "I'm going to die, but on the third day, I'll be raised to life. They're going to destroy this temple". He was speaking about his body, "But, on the third day..." everybody say, "Third day". "It will be raised back to life. I'll build it again. I'm going to go down in the ground for a minute, but on the third day, I'm getting up".

So, Cleopas and his companion are headed home and I get it because they watched him handed over on the cross. What I don't understand is when they chose to do it because they said, "Our chief priests handed him over to be crucified. We had hoped He was the one who redeems Israel". And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. Here's my question, wouldn't you at least want to stick around until the end of Sunday to see if something was going to happen? Wouldn't you at least want to wait until Monday? I mean really, you can't wait until the end of the day to see if this might be real? And that's our problem. We quit so quick, so quick. We quit when we are so close. We quit... now, here's what happened on Resurrection Sunday. Jesus gets up out of the grave early one Sunday morning. He goes and appears to some women. The women come back to the men. They say, "Jesus isn't there. He rose just like he said".

The men, who are usually a little bit more hard-headed and hard-hearted than the women tend to be, somebody give an estrogen praise right here, don't believe the women. And then Cleopas and his companion upon hearing the report that Jesus body is not in the tomb decide, we're going home. Now? Like, you don't want to get a room? Like, one more night? You don't want to extend your stay just like just give it a little bit of time? But, they leave, and they almost miss it. They almost miss it. Like some of the people who leave church when I start giving the invitation. They're in such a hurry to get to the car that they miss the most meaningful part of the whole worship experience when someone... if you're not clapping, I might be talking about you. Really, where do you have to be that's that important? That important and they head out.

Like that woman at the Panther's game. Jody, you'll remember. We were down... is say we because that's what you do when you're a fan of a team. You associate yourself with them when they win, especially if you're a Charlotte Panther, Carolina Panther's fan. The city of Charlotte is known for that. But, this woman, listen she was real loud until they started losing and she left during halftime. And then the Panther's came back and won, and I was glad that she missed it because it serves you right. Come on. It serves you right. I know that's not a very loving thing to say, and it's not very Christ-like because Jesus didn't treat Cleo like that. He leaves just at the time that the resurrection is being proven and Jesus goes to get Cleo. He goes to get him, and he begins to speak with him and talk with him, and he reveals himself to him. That's my second point is the reveal. The reveal. The resurrection reveals the power of God to all who believe, but not like you think.

See, usually when I hear Easter sermon's, it's about the power of God and that's appropriate. When you get up from the grave and walk into the octagon with death and choke death out and death taps three times. I mean, that's strong. When you roll your own stone away, that's strong. So, I've heard that about the strength of Jesus Christ to overcome the grave. I've heard about the strength of Jesus. I've heard about the sovereignty of Jesus. Oh, there's a good church word for you. The sovereignty of Jesus. He is sovereign over death, and hell, and the grave, and I heard about that. But, nobody ever told about, and I want to tell you about it, is how sneaky Jesus was. You're looking at me strange. You're looking at me like you never heard that Jesus... well when He got up from the grave... I'll prove this to you that He was sneaky.

When He got up from the grave, He left while it was still dark. He left before the sun came up. And He had to knock over a few Roman guards to get out, but after He knocked them over, He slipped out and found the woman and appeared to the women, but He didn't appear to a whole crowd when He got up from the grave, why? Because He's sneaky. He's sneaky. That's why He was born like a baby in a town like Bethlehem because He's sneaky. He wasn't born in a political capital. He was born in a backwoods town because He's sneaky. I never heard a sermon about sneaky Jesus. Maybe I should preach a whole series one time called sneaky Jesus because watch him. He walks up to Cleo and He's like, "What you talking about"? Never mind the fact that you are God. Never mind the fact that you are resurrected, just, "What you talking about"? What's He doing? He's creeping on Cleo.

You never heard this kind of preaching before. You think when God shows up it's always going to be spectacular. That He's going to show up and something big is going to happen. No, no. He's very sneaky. He's very sneaky. He'll just sneak into ordinary situations. He'll just sneak in, in ordinary moments. He'll just sneak in. He won't give you any advance notice. He won't ask you to sign a waiver. He won't put a sign in the clouds, none of that because He's sneaky. One time Peter was in a storm and Jesus came walking out on the water and everybody said, "Ah, it's a ghost". No, it's Jesus, but He's sneaky. He sneaks up on them. He snuck up in the locked doors when they were waiting for him. He snuck up on Cleo. What makes you think He's not sneaking up on you today? Just because you can't feel him, doesn't mean He's not with you. He's sneaky. He's sneaky. He sneaks out of the tomb and He sneaks up on Cleo.

Let me tell you what He was doing up on the cross. This is what they didn't understand, and this is why they fled, and this is why they lost their hope because all they saw was death. But, Jesus didn't die so that death could reign. He died to bring victory into the earth, but He couldn't bring victory into the earth looking like victory, He had to dress it up like death and hang it on a cross because He's sneaky. He's sneaky. He's sneaky. And here's what he does, He'll send glory into your life, but it won't look like glory. He'll send blessing into your life, but it won't look like blessing. He'll send patience into your life dressed like your teenager. Think about it, because He's sneaky. And he'll send some of the best times in your life dressed like some of the hardest times. You don't see it while you're in it.
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