God of the Sunrise: Hold On to Hope

Nov 14, 2022

We’re diving into Part 2 of our November mini-series, God of the Sunrise! Over the past two weeks, we’ve been learning all about the eternal hope we have in Jesus. No matter what we’re walking through, we can abound in hope because we’re never alone in Him! Even in the darkest of nights, we serve the God of the sunrise. 

In the final part of our series, Pastor Eric preached a word in season for us all, highlighting our call to hold on to hope with grit and tenacity in every season, no matter how challenging or difficult our circumstances may be. We received 3 thoughts of encouragement from God’s word in Hold On to Hope.

When we’re questioning how to hold tightly to the hope we affirm rather than allow hope deferred to make our heart sick, we stand with perseverance, we trust God’s promise, and we wait with patience! 

Last week, we talked about The Reason for Our Hope and focussed on the verse below. We discovered how we can abound in heavenly hope in every single season, regardless of our circumstances. We learned that biblical hope is not optimism based on the odds; it’s a steadfast and sure foundation that is based on the character of God. He is why we have a reason for hope! 

Romans 15:13 (NKJV) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

It’s great news that we have a reason for our hope! However, we also have an enemy to our hope whose desire is to steal, kill, and destroy our hope in any way he can. Today we’re learning where the rubber meets the road with hope. When we face a situation that seems hopeless, when hope is deferred, that is when we need to hold on to hope with grit and tenacity and not let go. 

Hebrews 10:23 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. 

Let’s be encouraged and strengthened as we discover practical tools to help us hold on to hope tightly and grapes it without ever wavering. This is how we will make it through what we’re facing, no matter how bleak it may seem! 

Hold On to Hope

Proverbs was written by a wise man named Solomon. In these next few verses, he shares words of wisdom with us that declare a clear reality as it pertains to our relationship with hope. Simply put, hope deferred leaves us feeling discouraged. Here’s how Solomon describes it: 

Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life

Proverbs 13:12 (VOICE) Hope postponed grieves the heart; but when a dream comes true, life is full and sweet. 

It’s easy for us to let ourselves get our hopes up and get easily excited. But as we all know, hope is sometimes deferred and delayed and our hopes don’t become our reality. In Hold On to Hope, Pastor Eric shares a comical, yet totally relatable, story about his first kiss and one of his experiences with hope deferred. 

Hope deferred can be extremely painful! Many of us have hoped to be married or be pregnant or be promoted or be free of addiction or any other slew of wishes and desires unmet. So what do we do when our hope gets deferred? How do we respond? It’s easy to feel discouraged, disappointed, and disillusioned. It’s easy to throw in the towel, quit, and give up on hope. But what does the Bible tell us to do?

Hebrews 10:23 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.  

In Hold On to Hope, we’re discovering how to strengthen and cling to hope even when hope is deferred. Let’s dive into 3 thoughts from God’s Word that encourage and guide us in the ways for holding on to hope. 

1.Stand with Perseverance

Hebrews 10:23 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.  

The writer of Hebrews is telling us to hold on to hope because times are going to come in our lives where hope is going to face resistance. We will face obstacles and challenges where our hope will risk being taken away. In order to succeed in life, we must hold tightly to hope. 

The Greek word for “hold tightly” is katecho which comes from two root words. Kata means “down” and echo means “to hold or embrace”. We gain a clear visual representation of this word from Pastor Eric’s example in Hold On to Hope. We are to firmly hold down or embrace with tightness what we have, lest it slip away or be taken away from us. It’s like wrapping our arms around an object and refusing to let go. We specifically receive this instruction from the Bible:

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. 

Even when we’re on the verge of quitting and giving up and letting go. Even when things just seem too difficult to manage. We need to persevere in order to receive what God has promised for us. 

Perseverance = a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition. (Grit, tenacity, bravery, resolve, mettle, determination.)

There are going to be moments where we have to make a decision of our will to persevere, to not give up, to not give in or let go. We must hold on to hope in all circumstances. Listen to Hold On to Hope to hear the story of Ernest Shackleton. This moving tale highlights the literal life and death impact hope can have in our lives. There is power in hope and in the ability to persevere in every situation. 

John 16:33 (NIV) In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. 

We’re not talking about a positive mindset or self-reliance or human determination. We’re talking about an ability that God gives us; not founded in our own strength but in His strength. We can persevere because Jesus did. His victory of death, hell, and the grave became our victory. Our hope, the ability to persevere, is founded on the victory of Jesus.   

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart


Reflect on John 16:33 and share a time when you have experienced trouble in this world. How did you stand with perseverance? Did you then receive what God has promised?

Consider a challenging season you or a loved one has experienced. How did you reap what you had sewn after not losing heart?

2.Trust His Promise 

Hebrews 10:23 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.  

Our hope is not based on an intangible feeling or on a theory of God. It’s not even based on human effort! The foundation of our hope is based on God’s promises; it’s based on His Word. 

Psalm 119:114 (NLT) You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope

Here’s the key: We Hold On to Hope by holding on to God’s Word. This is practical! It’s something we do daily. We can hold to the Word of God both physically in our hands and even more so, in our spirits. His Word is the source of our hope–it’s the breath of life, the sustenance that our hope is built upon. 

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Many of us know the story of Abraham and Sarah and God’s promise to them that they would have a son, even though they were nearly 100 years old at the time. There was no reason for hope for a child, yet Abraham held on to hope, trusting in God’s promise, and in Romans, we see God deliver.

Romans 4:17-21 (NLT) 17That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. 18Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 

19And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. 20Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Romans 15:4 (NLT) And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. 

Like Abraham, we too hold on to hope by holding on to God’s Word. We find His promises in Scripture and grab on to them as our source of hope. Our hope then starts to turn to faith as we see that what says will be. Let’s lean into His Word and trust in the promises He has for us! 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Remember, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8:37). We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Sin no longer has power over us, we can live in Christ’s victory (Romans 6:10). These are just some of the many, many promises God has for us in his Word and these are the exact promises we can trust. Amen!


What are some of God’s promises that you have leaned into during difficult life seasons or circumstances? 

Has God made you a promise, like Abraham, that seems impossible or out of reach? 

How do we use God’s Word as a source of hope to help us trust in His promises?

3.Wait in Patience 

Romans 8:24-25 (NLT) 24If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently. 

So often, when it comes to the battle of hope, the hardest part can just be having patience. It’s not easy! In Hold On to Hope, Pastor Eric shares a personal story that details the challenges of waiting in patience. Just like a young child waiting on a parent, we often want God to bring our hopes to fruition immediately; we want it now. But that’s not always God’s plan for us! We see guidance and instruction to be patient throughout scripture, emphasizing how pertinent this point truly is.  

Psalm 62:5-6 (NLT) 5Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. 6He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 

Learning to wait before God is so critical on our Christian journey. When it comes to holding on to hope, it is of utmost importance we learn the valuable gift of patience and waiting on Him. It can be difficult–it’s easy for us to try and take matters into our own hands and force fruition. 

But as followers of Jesus, we’ve all agreed to make Jesus our Lord. When Jesus becomes our Lord, it means we abide by His way, not ours. We surrender and submit to His will. When we wait on God, we transfer our trust in ourselves to Him. We stop striving in our own strength and start thriving in His. We remind ourselves that we are not God–He is–and He gets to be the leader and the ruler of our lives. 

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. 

When we wait on the Lord, we find strength renewed, we find grace to follow His path, we find energy that we need to run. We hold on to hope knowing that while we’re waiting, He is working. We are called to follow His path and wait to hear from Him. 

It’s important to remember that biblical patience is not laziness. Biblical patience is not inactivity. Biblical patience is not about what we physically do or don’t do–it’s a posture of our heart. Patience is a position of surrender. It’s when we commit to no longer doing things by our own strength but instead praying, listening, and following God’s way. 

This is a tiny shift with massive implications. Waiting on God is not an excuse to do nothing! Biblical patience is not saying…

“I’m waiting on God ot bring me a spouse but I won’t go on a date.”

“I’m waiting for my dreams to come to pass but I’m unwilling to take a risk.”

“I’m waiting on God to promote me but I won’t learn new skills and put in extra work.”

Biblical patience is an internal decision of who is Lord and who is not. Let’s be encouraged and challenged to adopt the posture of waiting in patience before God and holding on to hope with a value of necessary patience. Amen!

Lamentations 3:25-27 (MSG) God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. 


What does it mean to passionately wait vs passively wait? 

What prayer have you petitioned to God that he responded with “wait” as opposed to “yes” or “no”?

What scripture helps give you strength and hope to wait in patience on the Lord?

May we stand with perseverance, trust His promise, and wait in patience as we become people who abound in the hope of the Lord in every season, regardless of the consequences that we face. No matter how dark things might feel in our lives, there is hope in Him. He is the God of the sunrise and He will make the sun rise in our lives. Amen!


Lord, we love you. We are so grateful for your presence and your goodness to us. As we come around your Word, please speak to us as we know that when your Word goes forth, it does not return back void. God please teach us, strengthen us, and encourage us. Thank you for your love and for your example! We love you. In Jesus' holy name, Amen.


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