This Week's Sermon

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Reasonable Doubt: Unexpected Places

Genesis 1:27, 2:7 / Luke 4:16-21 / Romans 5:3-5

May 28, 2023

Richard Hamilton

What are some things that might seem hopeless?

Hope is possible, no matter your situation.

Genesis 1:31 (ESV)

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. 

Genesis 2:7-8a (ESV)

the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden

John 20:19-22 (ESV)

 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

In the middle of their hopelessness, Jesus visited with them a message of peace, hope, and purpose.

What does it look like for God to show up in unexpected places for us today?

Luke 4:16-21 (ESV)

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

    because he has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

    and recovering of sight to the blind,

    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Look for God in unexpected places.

Has God ever helped you find hope right when you really needed it? What happened?

What are some obstacles that could prevent you from noticing when God is speaking to you?

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Doubts can make us feel like we're untethered. 

Prayer can act as "gravity." 

When you’re ready to give up, hang on. Look for God in unexpected places.

Next Steps:

  • Ask God to help you find hope. Thank God for the hope you've found.
  • Help someone else find hope to keep going.