00:00 You're listening to a live recording from Westside church in bend, Oregon. Thanks for joining us.
00:06 It's good to see you guys today. My name is Steve Mikel. I'm one of the senior pastors here and it's just such good. It's good to be in the house of the Lord together. It's good to be gathering together as the people of God, if you're not a Christian I'm. So I mean, so great that you're here and I hope that you see something of who Jesus actually is in our gathering and with the people that you're around and those that are watching online. Good to have you joining us in that form as well. We're talking about the year, the word for our year, which is the word hope we're really leaning into as a church, as a community, what it means to have hope even in this broken world, but there is this tension, right? That we experience when we talk about hope because of how difficult it is. I mean, we see enough goodness in this world to encourage our hearts. And then a moment later, there's plenty of have enough brokenness to knock us back down. It reminds me of what English can poet George Herbert wrote. I wept when I was born and every day shows why I don't think he had any friends.
01:16 Even the movie life is beautiful. The title life is beautiful. It takes place in a concentration camp that describes the beauty of a father's love for his son. Who's in, he's tries to protect them from the ravages of this world. There's this tension we live in and, and because of the brokenness around us, it would be tempting to fall into how I think our society has kind of fallen into this trap of like, well, this is just the way it is and to lose hope. Pastor Beau last week encouraged us by quoting from the apostle Paul who wrote these words that we are hard pressed. Yes we are, but were not crushed. We're persecuted, which means chased by trouble. Yes, but we're not abandoned. We're not left alone. We're struck down. That's true, but we're not destroyed. And I love the apostle Paul in all of his writings.
02:17 He never tells us to get over it. He never, he never minimizes the pain and the hurt that this world brings. He gives us the Bible gives room for the authentic expression of all of our emotions. And I love that that Paul, in that same passage, it talks about that. We are carriers of the power of God, God lives in us. The power of the holy spirit resides in us. And so when we do get knocked down, we can get back up again and again and again, and we don't have to lose hope. Eldridge writes in his book, all things new. We need more than a silver lining outlook on life, much, much more. We need an unbreakable unquenchable hope. So that's what our year is about. And in our community group discussion questions for this week, which are available online, pastor Dave wrote these words. There are so many promises in the Bible for those who believe in its words, but often our lives do not fit cleanly in the lines between these verses our lives are messy and glorious. Our relationships are heartbreaking and healing. Our bodies are worn down and wondrous. What we need is a faith that brings hope. Let's pray. Jesus. As we open up your word today, would it come alive to us?
03:49 For those of us who have become a bit cynical and jaded by the reality of this world that we live in Lord, I pray that you would renew a sense of wonder and curiosity in what and who you are and what you can do. Help us to see the truth of your word in a new way. Today. I pray in Jesus name. Amen. Well, three things Paul writes will last forever. Faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. Three things. Think about that. Three things will last forever of all the things that you can think of Paul is saying, there's three things that I've all this stuff that I've been through. Everything that I know about life, what I've come to realize is that there's three things that are eternal. Three forces, three change agents that will last forever. They are, there are eternal and they enable those who embrace these ideas.
04:56 These forces to truly live faith, hope, and love. And I appreciate that hopes in the middle between faith and love, because I think it's a bit of a hinge to experiencing love and to the outward expression of our faith. It's hard to love someone when you have no hope the relationship's going to work right. Without hope. It's hard to love, but on the same token, faith without hope is just, it ends up being like a rigid doctrine. Just things that you believe, but there's no future in it. It's like people that say, they believe that God can do anything, but then you have no hope that he will. Well, like, what's good. What's good with that faith. You know, so I love in Matthew chapter 19, Jesus kind of focuses our attention on what we should put our faith in, thereby having hope in. And Matthew chapter 19, Jesus says these words because Peter asked him, or we're giving up everything to follow you.
06:00 What will we get? Have you ever prayed a prayer like that? Maybe not. I mean, Peter's pretty bold, but I think all of us have thought this like, God, okay, I'm going to, I'm going to fall. I'm going to scratch your back. When it, what am I going to get out of this deal? I'm going to give my life to you. What I get and Jesus answers him. I sure you Pete, that when the world is made new and the son of man sits upon his glorious throne, you have been, my followers will also sit on 12 Thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. Come on, whoa. Peter's like you see, I was expecting like some extra bread for dinner. This is amazing Thrones. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. Talk about our promise in answer to the question. What do we get out of this? Jesus goes full on. Like, he's like, let me tell you, you get it all.
07:09 Now we know the rest of Peter's life. And that ends up dying because of his faith. Huh? Jesus, didn't see that in that passage anywhere right there. But see, sometimes these words get lost because we know the whole story and we've lived our own brokenness in our own stories. Right? And we forget, sometimes we forget the promises that Jesus actually made to us. The words that he actually said about what we can expect, what we can anticipate, what we get out of this. And we need to come back to these things this year to renew our hope. And, and it's not about 12 Thrones. You and I, we don't get our, we don't get a throne. That's, there's only 12 Thrones. I'm not on one of them. And either you all right, you don't get a throne, but there's other things in here that really capture our attention.
08:09 And our curiosity, Jesus says when the world is made new, I don't know if you caught that, but I'm like, Hmm, that's interesting. I want to know more about that. What does that mean? And is that, does that now, does that start now? Or is this later, right? We'll know about that. And then, oh, and I really cut on this. Like you'll receive a hundred times what you've lost in this life that I'm interested in that too. And so as I think, as we think about these things, you know, the Greek word here for this word knew that he's making the world when the world is made. New is the word Pailin genisia. And it's two Greek words that are put together to make this one word. And Pailin, it means again, and Genesio means it's where we get our, what word Genesis. It means beginning.
09:05 And so when it says the world is made new, he says, it's going to begin again. It's almost like Jesus is hearkening. Even using this word. He's hearkening back to the garden of Eden where everything was perfect. There was, there was no sin. There was no death. Even there was no disease. It was just every way, Jesus, the way God wanted it created, it was created that way. It was beautiful. And God said it is good. And everything got lost. When sin entered the world and brokenness began to, to ravage our planet and our, and our relationships in our bodies. And then, and, and sometimes we, it happens so much in our lives that we think can we recover from that? And, and Jesus is saying, listen, there's a work happening that has started all the way back then when Senator the world I've started, I have a plan and a purpose, and it started back then to renew all things, to restore what the enemy has taken to give back what this world has stolen from you.
10:17 A hundred times over God has been working from the very beginning on restoration. Jesus says that the last book in the Bible, John is, is, is look, seen this vision of heaven. And, and he writes, he was seated on the throne. That was Jesus. He said that Jesus, he says, I am making everything new. And then Jesus says to John, write this down for these words are trustworthy and true. I can see John just kind of staring at all of this and not writing anything down. And Jesus is like, you got a pen, buddy. You need to write this down and you're not going to see this again, but I'm making every thing new. And I love that John points out where Jesus is sitting when he says those powerful words, he's on a throne. There's a lot of Thrones in our world. Promising all kinds of things to put your hope in. But there is only one from that you can't actually rely on to keep their promises.
11:36 Only one person that you can put that kind of faith in for a hundred fold return for, to actually be able to, to have the power, to make all things new. Say from the moment Senator of the world, God has been working to renew all things. It's why Jesus came was part of that renewal process. It's why he promised why Jesus promised another promise that he said to his friends. I go to prepare a place for you. I have to leave. Don't worry. I'm going to send the holy spirit to be with you and to be in you. What a that's another amazing promise. And he says, but I got it. I'm going to, I'm going to prepare a place for you. Why? So that we can be together forever.
12:24 It's all about renewal. God intends for everything to be made. New. He's restoring what he created that has been devastated by this world. It's what God intends. And what I believe is that he's doing it right now. He's doing it at this very moment. Maybe you, maybe you experienced something during worship of, of just have a connection to the holy spirit. Maybe something that you've never experienced before. Maybe, maybe you've experienced it before. And it's something that's very familiar to you. And in those moments, God is working something new in you every day, everywhere. I look, I see the traces of God's work of renewal relationships that were broken, that are being mended bodies that have been broken, that are being healed. Kids laughing, enjoying life is don't know better. I see it. I see it everywhere. If we have eyes to see, we'll see that God is actually working right now to make everything new. He's restoring it. That's a process. Cause there's a lot in this life working against that. I love what Beau said last week that God is renewing our spirits every single day. Even though our bodies are dying and I turned 51 last month and the fifties are no joke, I, somebody should have warned me. I can feel it. I can feel it. Yeah. Some of you were like, wait until your sixties, but I hear you. I hear you. Yeah. Thanks for the encouragement.
14:07 But even our bodies think about it. Even our bodies that are indicate well, that's a great image. Even in our bodies, when you get a sliver and he pull it out, what does your body start to do? Wait a second. I thought our bodies were in decay. See, there's evidence of the fingerprint of God. Working to renew, even in bodies that are growing old. You see it everywhere. God is renewing is a restoration project. Did you guys see that commercial during the holidays of, of the there's an old blue convertible in a garage it's dusty, broken down and it holds some special memories to the husband because it was his wife's car and they really enjoyed it together, but she has passed away and they all do this in 30 seconds. Brilliant people doing these things. It's probably an insurance commercial. I don't know who cares.
15:03 And then the daughter sees this, I think it's the daughter. And so she unbeknownst to him, restores the car to its original intent and then tears are flowing and that's not on the, just on the commercial, by the way, you know, like beautiful. And that it strikes something in us that we crave and the Bible and Jesus makes really clear that you don't just have to crave it. You can experience it. Maybe not the hundred fold in this life. Maybe, maybe you're asking for a little too much there, you know, Peter, maybe you just maybe, and you're going to get a throne, but bro, it's going to, there's some stuff you got to go through first. So there's that tension still, but there's, there's this belief that Jesus is going to do this. And I think he's doing some of it today. That idea of a hundred fold this for me, this is where heaven enters into our hope. And, and by the way, heaven's not a punishment or a reward.
16:13 It is our resting place with Jesus. It's, it's where we get to see a hundred fold return on all of our losses that Jesus promised that he, that we would, that we would experience full restoration for Suzanne and me personally, I think about this and I, I think about chase, for those of you that don't know our story, we lost our oldest sons, almost six years ago. And, he would be 27 tomorrow. So happy birthday chase. If I live to be 70, let's just, it's a low estimate. Let's just go 70. I could probably, I can say that I probably lost at least 30 years with chase, which means I have hope for at least 3000 years of laughter wrestling long walks, sit by a fire pit, hope there's fire pits in heaven relationship. I, I feel like I'm guaranteed that by Christ himself.
17:19 I feel like that is something I can put my hope in actually tangibly that I know that this, that he's restoring things here and now, but I also know that full restoration will happen there. And then, and I put my hope in all of that, because hope is hope for this life without an awareness of the next life, a new world. I think it's impossible to put your hope in this. I think there's, I think that it's hard to put your hope in Christ for this life when you don't have hope in what he, for the next life, for some of us, the idea of a, of a heaven makes you anxious. It makes you worried. And I just want it. I said, it's a promise that there's something beautiful and better waiting for us. We don't have to choose this life or the next life to put our hope in.
18:11 We, we, we can have hope for both. We can say God, the God that went to prepare a place for us so that we could be together as the same God who is now working right now to restore my relationships, to, to redeem, my brokenness to, to, to heal my body. I, I believe that I put my hope in that this hope I think in heaven is the answer to our deepest longings. It works backwards and provides us hope for today. That's why I think when you, when you, when we experienced death and decay and disease and brokenness, it feels so wrong. Doesn't it? It feels so unrighteous. It feels like this is this. Isn't the way it's supposed to be. And do you want to know what it's not the way it's supposed to be? It's not the way God created. This created us to live forever with him without any sickness.
19:08 And, and though we can't see the whole scope of what God's doing and working. We can put our hope in the fact that he is working and while many, many people just believe that that, that God will only restore things in the next life that there's no restoration. We're just going to, it's just going to get worse, worse, worse, worse, worse. And then you, and then you died, then you get to experience all that you know, and that, for me, I'm like really? What about, what about when God restores a relationship? Isn't that a sign of renewal?
19:48 Well, when that, when God heals a body, isn't that isn't that a sign of renewal. We just want all of it. You know, we want the throne. Now we want to sit in it. Now we want everything right now. But I, in this life, I take what I can get. And when I see God working, when I see God moving, it reminds me that my hope is in him for this life and for the next and invite Brent back up for a moment we're not quite done yet. So I know whenever the music starts to play, we're just, it's like, we're a little mice, you know, we're, we're just, you know, we started putting our stuff away and music's playing great. And then when I say, let's pray for you guys are all out of here by that time. Right? So, so we're all conditioned. I get that. So fight that tendency right now, because after we're done with a little response, I'm to go back to something, I feel like I'm supposed to share with you. So, so fight that tendency right now in Matthew seven, verse 11, Your parents, if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they asked for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not. So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him?
21:38 I think because this life has robbed us of so much, we have stopped asking. And the reason we stopped asking is because we've lost hope that God is renewing, that God is working today. And so part of us beginning to hope again, that God is working is, is to begin to ask again for good things that God wants to give to us, that God wants to pour out upon us, Suzanne and I, we, we started believing again and, hoping, hoping again that we would be filled with joy and happiness and that there would be contentment in our life and that we wouldn't be afraid any longer. And we, we started to live that way. We started to believe that way. We started to pray that way. And, and as a result, the Lord is renewing Suzanne and I's souls. We're being renewed. We've laughed together. We rejoice together. Renewal will look different for everyone, but what will it look like for you? What do you want it to look like for you think, think a year from now, I think 20, 23 or the end of this year, and what parts of your life would you like the renewing power of Jesus to come in and begin to do a work of renewal of restoration?
23:09 Would you ask God into it today? Would you believe with me that God is still at work in your life? And because he's still working, what might you ask of him to work in your life? Maybe it's in your marriage. Maybe you've lost hope that your relationship can be restored. Maybe, maybe you want to ask God to restore them. Maybe it's in your body. Maybe there's a sickness or an illness that you just have lived with for so long. You just think this is the way it is. Maybe maybe God would do something this year in that area. Maybe it's in your finances. Maybe it's the lack of joy. And you're like, God, would you renew my joy? Would you restore my joy this year? Would you restore my mind? Maybe there's things going on. Just how you believe your mindsets, the way that you think about this world. God would you restore my mind? So what I want you to do is I want you to take a moment and I want you to write this phrase down or put it in your phone, or just think about it for a moment. Fill in the blank. I'm hoping that God would restore my what?
24:21 Just take a moment right now. What are one or two things? It's not a new year's resolution, not asking you to do anything because you're not the restore. You're not the one who can renew those areas of brokenness in your life. I'm asking you for a new year's restoration, in a sense to ask the restorer, to come into those areas of brokenness, to bring health and wholeness into your life. To ask him God, I'm hoping in you, that you will do a work on my behalf, in my relationships, in my finances, in my body, in my city, in my school, what is it for you? I'm hoping that God will restore my why. Go ahead and take a moment. Whisper it out. Just even verbalize it, write it down. That'd be a prayer of your heart today.
25:40 I felt like this was a moment as well for those. How many of us have put our hope in Christ? And it's we make it sound easy. And I hope you know that it's not that easy for all of us, for any of us, but there's this sense of like, yeah, we've put our hope in him. We've we trust him or growing in our trust of him, we're learning how to have faith in him day by day, more and more increasingly. So, but there was a moment in my life. And in most Christians lives where they made a decision. I'm going to put my hope in him in Christ. I'm going to do, I'm going to do that. And it's just one decision that by the way, you make every single day that you decide to put your hope in Jesus, because there's a lot of other options out there that try to get you to put their hope in them. But today, if you've never made the decision to put your hope in Jesus and you feel something going on, the holy spirit is actually working right now in many people. Would you simply say to Jesus, I put my hope in you. If that's your prayer, Jesus, I put my hope in you. I don't understand everything. I don't, I don't know how to live this life with you. And, but I choose today to put my hope in you.
27:03 I believe that you, Jesus have the answers to this life. And I want to walk with you and know you. And ultimately Jesus helped me to become like you, this do that right now. If that's your prayer, Jesus, you've heard the prayers of your people or hoping God that you will restore some things in our lives this year, or we're not, we're not asking for a hundred full. I think, I think you'll do that. Eventually, Laura, we're asking for your purposes to happen in our relationships and in our finances, in our families, in our country. We're asking for your way to be done that your kingdom would come here on earth as it is in heaven. Lord, sometimes we're just praying for daily bread. Sometimes there is asking God, would you give us this day, our daily bread. That's what I'm hoping for for today. So Lord, I pray that all the prayers that have been prayed to you in these last few moments, Lord, that you would hear from heaven and that you would respond, that you would continue your work of restoration in our lives in Jesus name. Amen.