For many today, hopes and dreams are crucified and placed in a tomb within, but today is RESURRECTION DAY. God desires every hope and dream come alive within you today and you come forth no longer a victim, but as victor. God desires to make every area of your life fully fulfilled. He wants to resurrect hope.
We all know Easter is about the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They crucified Jesus. Everyone, even his disciples, gave him up for dead, but God didn't. God resurrected Jesus from the dead. That Sunday morning, the stone rolled away and Jesus came forth no longer a victim, but as victor over death, hell, and the grave. You know about that wonderful story.
What I want to talk about today is more along the lines of WHY Jesus came and WHY God raised Jesus from the dead that relates to you today, right now. For many today, hopes and dreams are crucified and placed in a tomb within, but today is RESURRECTION DAY. God desires every hope and dream come alive within you today and you come forth no longer a victim, but as victor.
God desires to make every area of your life fully fulfilled. He wants to resurrect hope. He wants to resurrect your health. He desires to resurrect your marriage. God desires to resurrect purpose within your children. God desires to resurrect love for your occupation. That's why Jesus came and that's why God raised him from the dead. Let me show you.
John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I CAME THAT THEY MAY HAVE AND ENJOY LIFE, AND HAVE IT IN ABUNDANCE TO THE FULL, TILL IT OVERFLOWS. (Amplified Bible)
The Lord's dream is that you HAVE and ENJOY life to the full. You didn't just accidentally show up on planet Earth one day. You are here right on time. "You were born for such a time as this" (Est 4:14). This is literally your time. Within you are hopes, dreams, and desires God put there just for you to experience and enjoy. For life to be in abundance and full, your hopes and dreams must be alive and in front of you.
John 10:10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I CAME SO they can have REAL and eternal life, MORE AND BETTER LIFE THAN THEY EVER DREAMED OF. (Message Bible)
It's more than going to heaven when we die. Nothing wrong with that, but as Ryan said in the video, "God will make dreams come true." God has so much for you to experience. That's why Jesus came and that's why God raised him from the dead.
When Jesus came back alive, the possibility of REAL LIFE came back alive for you. When Jesus walked out of that tomb, the possibility of your life being more and better than ever dreamed walked out of that tomb.
There was a time in your life when you were full of hopes, dreams. However, over time, little by little life crucified those hopes and dreams laying them in a tomb within you. Little by little… a disappointment here. Little by little… a setback there. Little by little… a failed relationship.
We stop believing in ourselves. With every crucified hope a little of us dies. We stop pressing to rise higher. Instead, we WITHER. We stop reaching, grasping life, and embracing our dreams. We become a victim. LIKE A LEAF, we let go of the branch of hopes and dreams that keeps us alive and fall from the tree of life.
The Bible talks about a withered man Jesus met.
Matthew 12:10 And, behold, there was a MAN WHICH HAD HIS HAND WITHERED...
It says more than he had a withered hand. It says, "a man which had his hand withered." Something withered his hand. Perhaps an injury. Perhaps a fall/failure. Perhaps someone did something causing his hand to be crippled and wither. Life caused his hand to wither.
The withered hand is symbolic. It's a withered life that lost its power and ability to function. Things in life he once reached for, he no longer could. He can no longer reach out and feel what he once felt. Things about which he used to have passion to do, he no longer cared. Even things he once could grasp to pull him up, he no longer could embrace. His mindset was why even try? After all, he had a great excuse. He had his hand withered. Life injured him and life was passing him by.
I give my wife flowers. They are beautiful, colorful, and vibrant, but little by little… they wither. It's hardly noticeable initially. Then you look and they are completely withered and dead.
That's what happens in life. We begin strong and vibrant and life is a bouquet. We are excited with hopes, dreams, and passionate about the future, but life injures us and we wither. WE DEVELOP WITHERED MINDSETS. We think, "My dreams will never happen." "I'm never going to get out of debt." "I'll never have the marriage I desperately desire." "I'm never going to get married." We wither.
How did Jesus heal this withered man? Jesus didn't say to the man, "You have every reason to sit and wither as life passes you by. Life's been tough on you." No, and he won't say that to us either. Jesus asked the man to do something sounding impossible.
Matthew 12:13 Then he said to the man, "STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND…"
I wonder how many times he already tried to stretch out his hand. The man which had his hand withered had to make a decision. Would he take a step of faith and stretch out his hand? STRETCH OUT BEYOND DISAPPOINTMENTS, stretch out beyond FAILURES, stretch out beyond SETBACKS, stretch out beyond FAILED RELATIONSHIPS, stretch out beyond FAILED DREAMS AND CRIPPLING WOUNDS? Or, would he cower back into the tomb within and make excuses as life passed him by? What would you do?
Matthew 12:13 …SO HE STRETCHED IT OUT AND IT WAS COMPLETELY RESTORED, just as sound as the other.
God desires to completely restore your hopes and dreams. Nothing would happen unless he tried AGAIN to stretch out, but this time toward Jesus. The man whose hand was withered did his part. Then God did his part. Withered hope was completely restored.
Some of you are breathing, but not enjoying a REAL life. To enjoy life, you have to get out of bed every morning and have a dream to pursue in front of you. We need to stretch out. Jesus is saying to you today, "STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND TOWARD ME" For some, "STRETCH OUT and dare to do something you haven't done before." For others, "STRETCH OUT into a new level with me." THAT'S WHY JESUS CAME AND THAT'S WHY GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.
You may say, "Delbert, I'm too old." No. Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 100 when they believed God and stretched out their hand toward God to resurrect a hope and dream they had for a child.
You may say, "I've already tried again." Yes, but God wants to show you something new today. The Bible talks about a man named Naaman who had leprosy. Leprosy was the worst disease a person could have. God told Naaman to dip in the Jordan River SEVEN TIMES. That required Naaman to "stretch out" his hand toward God in hope of healing and do something different and new. He dipped once, twice… nothing happened. He dipped three, four, and five. Nothing happened – failure! Six, nothing. But, on his seventh dip the Bible says his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy (2Ki 5:14).
What I am saying is if God put something in your heart, even if you have to pursue it your entire lifetime, never stop trying. One of those dips, one of those stretch outs, will be the one. God says, "STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND… TOWARD ME." Get God seriously involved in your life this time. Do it God's way this time. Don't allow life to wither you and pass you by.
Psalms 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and WHOSE LEAF DOES NOT WITHER. Whatever he does PROSPERS.
The person who refuses to wither is the person who prospers. God's dream is you prosper, not wither. God is saying to you today, "If you will stretch out your hand to me, you will prosper. I will resurrect your hopes. Your dreams will walk out of your tomb within." It's a promise from God. THAT'S WHY JESUS CAME. THAT'S WHY GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD.
God wants to resurrect hope inside of you today. Once you had dreams and plans to prosper, but life withered them. You stopped feeling, stopped reaching and stopped embracing. Maybe, you were even ashamed. You developed a withered mindset. Your dreams withered, died, and were shoved into a tomb within you. The enemy rolled a huge stone in front. Maybe everyone gave up on you, BUT GOD HASN'T. God's going to resurrect those dead hopes and dreams today. When Jesus arose from the dead so did your hope. All you need to do is stretch out your hand – your hope and your dreams – toward him. He will restore your hope and dreams and what seemed withered will prosper. Jesus wants your hopes and dreams to walk out of the tomb today in RESURRECTED HOPE. You will be a victor, not a victim.
© Life Gate Ministries