God of the Sunrise: The Reason for Our Hope

Nov 07, 2022

We’re kicking off our brand new mini-series, God of the Sunrise, where we’re 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 The Reason for Our Hope, we are reminded that we can have hope like an anchor for our souls because of the finished work of the cross, the unchanging character of our God, and the eager expectation of our future in Heaven. 

As human beings, we’ve created, engineered, and invented some pretty incredible things. One thing we will never be able to replicate is the glory and the power and the simplicity and the magnitude of what God does every morning: a unique and beautiful sunrise. 

The sunrise reminds us every morning that the previous day is done and a new day has begun. There’s new opportunities on the horizon; there is hope. Even in the darkest nights, there’s hope because the sun will rise. Our God is the God of the sunrise…the God of 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. 

When we look at our current culture, it seems severely void of hope. Social media and the news all showcase hopelessness. We search frantically for the strength to believe that the best is truly yet to come. There’s good news! In Jesus, we can have hope in every season. Amen!

What we hope for shapes what we live for. Hope is what motivates us to endure every challenge that life throws at us. As we read in Romans 15, God wants us to abound with that kind of hope! Pastor Eric shares this message with us to encourage us, strengthen us, and help us to live our everyday lives with confident, steadfast hope. 

The Reason for Our Hope

There’s multiple different Hebrew words for “hope” throughout the Bible. Tikvah speaks to the idea of hope as if we're waiting in expectation. It’s like a child on Christmas morning, having not yet opened their presents but knowing good things are coming. 

Another Greek word for hope in the New Testament is elpis. This word highlights the tension we experience when we’re anticipating something but it’s still outside of our reach. Like a girl who has been dating a guy for a few years and is waiting for the perfect proposal. She’s anticipating the ring on her finger, but doesn’t quite have it yet. 

The Bible reveals hope as an image of anticipatory waiting with a full expectation that what you’re waiting for will come. In The Reason for Our Hope, Pastor Eric shares a heart-warming story about the hope of his and Pastor Alexa’s first kiss many years ago that perfectly portrays these definitions of hope. 

When we talk about hope as Christians, we’re not just talking about optimism or positivity. Optimism focuses on circumstances; it has the ability to perceive physical facts and put those facts together in such a way that we can predict a positive outcome. Optimism is done within our minds based on existing facts. 

Biblical hope is based on a belief of the steadfast and sure character of God–not based on circumstances, but based on God’s character. Biblical hope is not optimism based on the odds; biblical hope is based on God’s unchanging character. Biblical hope is not just a desire for something good in the future; it’s a confident expectation that good things in the future are going to happen. 

Hebrews 6:19 (NIV) We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 

God’s goodness toward us is in our future! We can live out our lives abounding with this kind of hope that we can face every circumstance in every situation holding onto the hope of Jesus. Amen!

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

Faith + Hope

Faith is now

Hope is then.

Faith is how we receive from God.

Hope is the anchor we have in God.

Faith is connected to a promise.

Hope is connected to our perspective

Hope is the foundation that our faith is built upon. 

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

It’s important to remember that faith is not an enemy of hope. We often think hope is not going to help us to receive from God and instead, we just need faith and should abandon hope. It’s not faith or hope; it’s faith and hope. We live by faith from the framework of hope. 

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have

The Bible teaches us 3 founding reasons for our hope that we’re exploring in depth in The Reason for Our Hope. We have reason to abound in hope every single day, no matter the circumstances!


How would you describe the difference between faith and hope in your own words? 

Think about a circumstance or season that seemed dark and depressing for you. How did your faith and hope impact your perspective? 

What does hope look like in regards to your salvation and eternity?

1. The Finished Work of Jesus

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

Before the resurrection of Jesus, sin and death were final–there was no hope. We see this highlighted in Ephesians 2. 

Ephesians 2:12 (NLT) In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope

If we are without God, we are without hope. It’s as simple as that!

Ephesians 2:13 (NLT) But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 

This is good news! Jesus is alive and He is The Reason for Our Hope. Hope is not based on emotion or deep thoughts. It’s not good feelings when we wake up and it’s not founded on theology that’s been studied. Hope is not based on our experiences or our good deeds. Hope is rooted in Jesus. 

In Christ, we’ve been given new birth to a living hope–a hope that does not fade, a hope that is eternal and it’s alive in us now. Hope is alive because Jesus is alive! Here’s the key: The resurrection of Jesus is the sustenance of our hope. Everything hinges on His resurrection. Thousands of people have died on crosses–the power of hope is not in the cross; it’s in the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus that is once and for all. 

Because of this, there’s no situation where we are truly hopeless! If Jesus can conquer death, He can surely help us conquer anything and everything that we face. 

“Because He Lives”

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, 

Because He lives, all fear is gone; 

Because I know He holds the future, 

And life is worth the living, 

Just because He lives! 

We have been redeemed and our sins have been forgiven because Jesus lives. We have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Because Jesus is alive, we have been filled with His power–we’ve been given His promise and in Him nothing is impossible. Amen!


How does Jesus’ resurrection relate to our hope? 

How did becoming a born again believer transform your understanding of hope? 

Ephesians tells us that we have been brought near to God. How have you experienced this closeness to the Lord in your personal life?

2. The Unchanging Character of God

Life today is more uncertain than it’s ever been! The economy is uncertain, the housing market is uncertain, political opinions and policies are uncertain…so much is unknown! Life is uncertain and it’s constantly changing. This truth can drive our worries and our fears and even pull at the fabric of our hope. In an ever-changing, uncertain world, we need an anchor. 

Hebrews 6:19 (NIV) We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 

Our anchor is not connected to the economy or the headlines or a 4-year political headline or a doctor’s report or to the weather or to how we feel on any given day. Our anchor is not connected to any of our circumstances. Our anchor is connected to the unchanging, constant character and nature of God. 

Malachi 3:6 (NKJV) For I am the Lord, I do not change. 

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

All of life may change but God does not! Even our worst mistakes cannot change His good plan for us. God is holy. He is perfect. He is loving. He is kind. He is trustworthy. We can have hope because of this!

The best is yet to come. It’s not just wishful thinking about our future. It is a declaration of hope, built on the confidence we have in the character of God. God is good, He takes us from glory to glory. He is faithful and He causes us to triumph in every season. We know He works all things together for our good.

Jesus is The Reason for Our Hope. Here’s the key with this kind of hope: It is a discipline to hope. We’re not always going to feel it; it won’t always be tangibly there. We’re going to have doubts about hope and we’re going to question it. We have got to be disciplined and choose hope every single day. 

Peter 42:11 (ESV) Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. 

In difficult times that seem like hope is far away, let’s preach this verse to ourselves and choose to hope in God no matter what we face!


How does God’s consistency and unwavering truth encourage and comfort you?

If someone were to ask you, “Why do you have hope in God?”, how would you respond?

3. The Eager Expectation of our Future

Oftentimes as Christians, we can get so busy doing the work of God’s kingdom–focusing on people’s needs, wanting to live according to God’s word, serving in church, being faithful in our careers and in our families–that sometimes we forget to consider where our life is headed. As believers, we know that we’re headed to heaven. We can have hope because we have heaven on the horizon!

Heaven is so much more than Hollywood leads us to believe in movies. The Bible reveals heaven as a vast and wonderful place where a joyous celebration is constantly happening with laughter and feasting and family and relationships. It’s where Jesus has prepared a home for us. A place where there’s no more tears, no more pain, no more death. A place where God’s glory and majesty is on full display.  

Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. 

We have a reason to hope in every circumstance because of the eager expectation of our future in heaven with Jesus. Heaven is our permanent reminder that this life is not all there is. There is more for us than life on Earth! No matter what we face here, we know it will not last forever. Ahead of us is the joy of eternity with Jesus. 

Titus 2:13 (NKJV) Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

We are called to look forward and eagerly expect the blessed hope of heaven–the appearing of Christ and our uniting with Him. 

“I Can Only Imagine”

Surrounded by Your glory, What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall?

Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine, yeah, I can only imagine.

May we never forget the privilege and the joy and the eager expectation we have of our future in heaven! We can have hope because we know we will be with God. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (NKJV) 51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [...] 55”O Death, where is your sting? O hades, where is your victory?” 56The sting of death is sin,and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 


What do you imagine eternity will look and feel like? 

What are your expectations of life in heaven with Jesus?

What feeling do you have knowing our time on earth will end and eternity awaits us?

We have a sure and steadfast reason for our hope! Because of the finished work of the cross, the unchanging character of our God, and the eager expectation of our future in Heaven, we have an anchor for our 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. 


Lord, we love you. As we study your word, please speak to us and transform our minds and hearts. Give us a fresh new sense of heavenly hope. Thank you for your promises. Thank you for the finished work of the cross, for your unchanging character, and for the eager expectation of our future in Heaven. It’s in Jesus’ mighty name that we pray, Amen.


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