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  • [music]

  • Dr. Charles Stanley: Are you one of those persons who's

  • feeling hopeless?

  • Nobody cares; nobody's interested in you.

  • You've had all kind of experiences.

  • You've had all kind of things and you've been with all kind of

  • people, but somehow there's something missing in your life.

  • male announcer: Today on "In Touch," "When All Hope is Gone."

  • Dr. Stanley: The word hope is a very, very important word.

  • It's a word of optimism, a word of cheerfulness, expectation.

  • All of us need hope about many different things in life.

  • And when you have hope, you do anticipate; you expect; you look

  • forward to something.

  • When you have no hope, there's a sense of dread.

  • You find yourself in the muck and mire of something that you

  • can't put your finger on.

  • Where is my hope?

  • In other words, what am I living for?

  • And there are multitudes of people today who do not have any

  • hope.

  • They don't have any hope about their marriage.

  • They have no hope about their children.

  • They have no hope about their health, about their finances,

  • about their future, about their job, their profession.

  • They have no hope about life itself, and they have no hope

  • about life after death.

  • They have no hope about eternity.

  • They're living in the muck and mire of this sense of existence,

  • but going nowhere.

  • They're just there.

  • That's never the intent of Almighty God.

  • He intends for us to have goals in our life; to have a sense of

  • confidence and assurance; and many people don't have it.

  • And what I want to talk about in this message

  • is a beautiful example of a person who absolutely was hopeless.

  • There was nothing about their life that gave them hope.

  • And I trust that you will identify with it because it has

  • a wonderful ending, but a very bad beginning.

  • So if you'll turn if you will in your Bible to John chapter four,

  • and let's read a few verses of this chapter.

  • Let's start with this first verse to give you a little

  • background.

  • All right?

  • "Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard

  • that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than

  • John, although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples

  • were," and I thought this was, this said something about Jesus.

  • That is, He didn't want to take away from anything about John.

  • He left Judea and went away again into Galilee.

  • And He had to pass through Samaria.

  • He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar,

  • near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph:

  • And Jacob's well was there.

  • So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the

  • well.

  • It was about the sixth hour."

  • Or about twelve o'clock noon, "There came a woman of Samaria

  • to draw water.

  • Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.'

  • For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

  • Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him,

  • 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink

  • since I am a Samaritan woman?' For Jews have no dealings with

  • Samaritans.

  • Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God,

  • and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink,"

  • you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'

  • She said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with

  • and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?

  • You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave

  • us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his

  • cattle?' Jesus answered and said to her,

  • 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;

  • but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never

  • thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him

  • a well of water springing up into eternal life.'

  • The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water,

  • so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.'"

  • This is one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible

  • of people who are hopeless and helpless,

  • don't have anywhere

  • to turn. There's nothing good about it.

  • And I want you to look at this woman for a moment and see what

  • hopelessness is all about; and what can happen in a person's

  • life when they become hopeless.

  • Sometimes people are hopeless because of what they've done.

  • Because the way they've lived; because

  • decisions that they've made.

  • And then sometimes it's not always that person's fault.

  • And so, when I think about this woman, I want to give you a

  • little description of her.

  • Number one, she'd been married five times; and

  • she was living in an adulterous situation, immoral situation with a man she

  • was living with at that particular time.

  • And, of course, having been married five times,

  • she had suffered a lot of difficulty and hardship with these first five

  • men or they would have still been there.

  • She must have been a pretty good-looking gal to have

  • attracted five men.

  • And so there she was.

  • And one of the problems though is that she'd endured terrible

  • rejection from the community.

  • To have been married five times in a small community, she was

  • the talk of the community.

  • There was nothing they could say good about her.

  • What kind of woman is this who has been married five times and

  • divorced and now she decided just to live with this guy and

  • not even be married to him.

  • And so she seems to have been trapped by this insatiable

  • sexual desire to have her needs met or to

  • meet somebody else's needs.

  • She was emotionally empty.

  • To be married five times, nothing works emotionally.

  • So she was empty; and seemingly failed to meet the needs of

  • these lovers of hers.

  • And so she felt very morally dirty.

  • You ever felt that-a-way?

  • Am I talking to somebody who feels morally dirty?

  • That because of decisions that you've made in your life, you

  • feel dirty spiritually.

  • You feel dirty emotionally.

  • You could be in a situation just as badly as she was.

  • You've tried it all and nothing worked.

  • You've been there and it didn't make any difference.

  • You've been loved by this one and loved by that one and hated

  • by this one and hated by the other, and used by all of them,

  • and nothing satisfied you.

  • You don't have anywhere to go.

  • All of your goals and dreams have been shattered; and the

  • truth is, you don't have anything to hope for.

  • At this point in your life, your sinfulness, your disobedience or

  • your rebellion, you turned off God a long time ago.

  • So where are you in life?

  • You're lost.

  • It's dark, dingy, dismal; and there you are.

  • It's like being in a swamp emotionally.

  • There's nothing there that is attractive to you.

  • And so you've sort of given up.

  • But given up to what?

  • Given up, why?

  • And given up when.

  • Those are the things you have to think about.

  • And I think there are many women today and men who have no hope.

  • This is the reason some people commit crime.

  • They can't see any hope of doing anything.

  • At least in prison you could have friends.

  • At least in prison, you've got

  • three meals a day and a place to eat and you can even watch TV.

  • There are a lot of people who are very, very hopeless.

  • And we're living in a time when more people are hopeless.

  • And this is why they cross borders.

  • This is why they do anything

  • to find a little hope and a little help.

  • And yet even that doesn't work.

  • And so this is where she was at this point.

  • And then a personal encounter with Jesus Christ

  • radically changed her life.

  • And it's radically changing people's lives today.

  • And so when you think about who she was and what was going on in

  • her life at this particular point, she's coming to the well

  • to draw water for the day, but she's coming at noontime, which

  • was not the right time.

  • But she came at noontime because the women didn't want to be

  • around her, they ostracized her, and it just made her feel worse

  • to try to be there when everybody else was there.

  • So in the middle of the day, here she comes for water.

  • And strangely, this man is sitting there.

  • He sent His disciples into town to buy food.

  • And looking at Him and knowing that He was a Jew and she was a

  • Samaritan, she was shocked when He said,

  • Give me a drink of water.

  • And her response was, What do You mean,

  • give You a drink of water?

  • You're a Jew; I'm a Samaritan.

  • Jews and Samaritans do not have anything to do with each other.

  • And You certainly wouldn't expect me to draw

  • Your water for You.

  • And Jesus in His quiet and loving way,

  • began a conversation with her.

  • And, all of a sudden, she realized that the barriers were

  • coming down within her; because the barrier was there.

  • First of all, she was talking to a man alone.

  • That in itself was enough. The fact that He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan, all of

  • those barriers were coming down.

  • She couldn't tell you why.

  • She just knew that there was something about Him that

  • attracted her that had nothing to do with what usually

  • attracted her, something physical.

  • And she began to listen.

  • And, "Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink,'" that's what

  • started the conversation.

  • And, He said to her, He said, You give me a drink and I'll

  • give you a drink of living water.

  • And so, Jesus began to talk with her and they began to chat and

  • so Jesus distinguished between this well water and the other

  • water that He was talking about.

  • And so she enthusiastically asked Him for it.

  • And so, when He had described it, she, "The woman said to Him,

  • 'Sir,'" listen to that, she--how she addressed Him, "Sir, give me

  • this water, I will not be thirsty nor come all the way

  • here again."

  • And then, “Jesus said to her," That sort of disrupted the

  • conversation because everything was moving right along and He

  • was talking about living water and then all of a sudden He,

  • "said, 'Call your husband,'" oh my, messed the conversation up

  • terrible.

  • And so, "Call your husband," and she told Him the truth.

  • She said, I don't have a husband.

  • He said, watch this, You're correct; you don't.

  • But you have had five.

  • And you're living with a man now who is not your husband.

  • But watch how He said that.

  • He did not condemn her.

  • He said, You're right; you don't have one, but you're living with

  • one who is not your husband.

  • Notice how Jesus changed that conversation.

  • Not by criticizing her, but by asking her a question.

  • And so what He's doing, He's leading her to realize where she

  • is emotionally, where she is physically, where she is

  • spiritually.

  • Now, what she did is what a lot of people do today.

  • When you start talking to them about the Lord, all of a sudden

  • they want to change the subject.

  • So if you'll notice what happens when she said that, "The woman

  • said, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.'"

  • And then she said, "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and

  • you people say that," and she changed the subject.

  • She wanted to start talking about worship; Jesus didn't want

  • to talk about that.

  • He did give her a little explanation here and there, but

  • He said, I want to tell you about My water.

  • My water is, He said, My water is living water.

  • And she said--He said here, "Whoever drinks of the water

  • that I will give him shall never thirst again; but the water that

  • I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up

  • in eternal life.

  • Springing up into eternal life.

  • 'Sir, give me this water,' Springing up," listen, Not just

  • water, but springing, this water springs up into eternal life.

  • And He had her attention, absolutely.

  • And as they began to talk and He said to her, as they began to

  • talk God, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must

  • worship Him in spirit and truth."

  • And, and so then He comes back, "The woman said to Him, 'I know

  • that Messiah is coming, He who is called Christ; when that One

  • comes, He will declare all things to me,'" and then, "Jesus

  • said to her, 'I,'" am the one you're looking for.

  • I am the Messiah.

  • Can you imagine what she must have thought?