2021 Sermon Series: “The Book of Isaiah: God's Heart to Rescue & Restore”
by Nathan Parker, Senior Pastor
April Sermon Series: “God of the Nations: The Sovereignty of God in all the World.”
April 4 (Easter) – “Subsequent Glories,” 1 Peter 1:3-12
April 11 – “He Has Become My Salvation,” Isaiah 12:1-6
April 18 – “The Hand that is Stretched Out Over All the Nations,” Isaiah 13:1-20:6
April 25 – “You Did Not Look to Him Who Did It,” Isaiah 21:1-23:18
It is now officially springtime, and I feel like hope is in the air (along with a lot of allergens!). Plants come alive again as green emerges across the hillsides around Nashville. Daffodils, through no human effort, suddenly spring up from ground that looked barren for months. The days are getting longer, and the sun brings new energy to the earth.
The once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic seems to have shown signs that it can be stopped. Through God’s gifting and grace, vaccines and treatment have been shown to effectively fight this virus. In the last few weeks, I have rejoiced to see some of our beloved members for the first time in over a year as they make their way back for in-person gatherings. All of these things remind me that we have reason to hope.
I feel like most of us have been in dire need of some hope. This past year has taken its toll on us in many ways, some more so than others. The pandemic has forced most of us to step back and reexamine what are the things that we truly value and care about. What is the foundation upon which we are building our lives? What are the essential things that cannot be dispensed with? What are the trivial things that can?
In Hebrews 6, the Bible tells us that even in the storms of this life, we have a solid anchor of hope to keep us secure. “18 So that … we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…”
When we flee to Jesus for refuge amidst a raging tempest, we find a compelling reason to hold on tight – all of His promises are true. How do we know that? How can we trust Him? Because He Himself has actually gone “behind the curtain.” This means that Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has now torn the curtain that once separated us from God (under penalty of death).
So throughout this month of April, beginning the glorious celebration of Easter Sunday, we will return to the certainty of hope that is ours in Christ. Renewing our hope, our faith, our trust in the Lord doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing through this life. But it does promise an “anchor of the soul” – a firm foundation to build our lives upon amidst the shifting sands of our times. We’ll see how God’s people found themselves beset on all sides by enemy nations, and yet, time and time again, the Lord proves Himself as the sovereign history-maker. He is always moving the narrative of His people forward, according to His terms and His plotline. We only see the page we’re on, but God has the end in mind.
My prayer is that we allow the truth of the resurrection of Christ to serve as an anchor for our souls during these days. Let us learn to put our trust in Him more fully each day. There we find a hope that is unassailable. I mean, He raised Jesus from the dead! What can’t He do?
Grace and peace,