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Hope is one of the basic necessities of life. When we have a strong and compelling hope it gives us strength and purpose. Unfortunately, hope also can be very fragile and uncertain.  Events, problems, circumstances at times wear us down and rob us of confidence. Without a strong sense of hope then we will see the world through a lens of doubt, despair, and discouragement. An increasing number of people in American society are losing hope, or struggling to find a hope that will help them to thrive.  This week in our sermon series Test the Spirits, the sermon title is The Spirit of Courageous Hope. The power of hope is built upon what we believe in our hearts and lives. This week we turn to Psalm 27:7-14. In these words, David shares his experience of finding hope in the difficulty of leadership, conflict, and war.  Despite hardship and fear he is able to have a sense of courageous hope that gives him confidence and strength to overcome adversity.  God uses these words to guide us to this hope that is able to fill us with the strength and confidence that we need for our lives.  We can be as certain as David that if everyone forsakes us, God will stay at our side and continue to help us in our fight for an enduring, courageous hope!  As you read Psalm 27:7-14 it is our most determined prayer that you will be filled with the presence of our living God and you will sense the strength that only he can give you. Psalm 27:7-14: Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.  (NIV)