Sermon Notes


  • What do you do with hope when what you hoped for has not happened?
  • “Life is a series of hope adjustments” (Lewis Smedes, Keeping Hope Alive)

Adjustment I: Naomi’s return to Israel

  • The first time the word hope is used in the Bible, it’s used for Naomi – a woman who has none.

Even if I thought there was still hope for me— ch 1:12

  • “Go back”- Orpah does, but “Ruth clung to her”
  • The most daring act of hope and devotion in all of the Old Testament is done by a penniless, childless, pagan, uncalled, Moabite widow named Ruth.

Adjustment II: Naming reality

  • Naomi: “Call me Marah” – bitter
  • When life disappoints us, we don’t see clearly: I came back alone
  • We all tend to see life through our own pain.

What or who do I have in my life?

Adjustment III: Ruth, the Moabite

  • The emotion of hope
  • High want minus belief = despair
  • Low want minus belief = resignation
  • Each of us has an essential passion which we choose, that outranks all other passions.

Ruth’s essential passion: Love for God and people – Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.”

Adjustment IV: Hope vs Wishing

  • Hoping involves taking action
  • Ruth: “let me go glean”
  • Boaz and Ruth are married, have a son, Obed, who has a son, Jesse, who has a son, David. Jesus, the Son of David offers hope to everyone

Adjustment V: Your Hope Adjustment

  • Bring your hope adjustments – your hurt, loss, disappointment, pain, grief to God.
  • Make really clear your essential passion: not just the things you hope for, but the one you hope in.
  • Ask the Ruth question: Who might I bring hope to?