Google snapshot of order page for text of Jeremiah Wright's "Audacity of Hope" sermon, cited at the end of Barak Obama's Audacity of Hope book. Text was available for download on the Google retrieval date of March 4, 2008, but was no longer available on March 13, 2008.  The order link now goes to another sermon by a different pastor. As of the 13th, the "Sermons by African-Americans" page does not list Wright at all, but it seems he must have been there on the 4th.

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Wright, Jeremiah - The Audacity to Hope

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The Audacity to Hope
by Jeremiah Wright
Text: 1 Samuel 1:118
Topic: Why we should continue to hope.
Big Idea: No matter how bad things seem we can hope in God.
Keywords: Adversity; Circumstances and Faith; Despair; Desperation; God, trustworthiness of; Help from God; Hope; Perseverance; Prayer; Prayer, answers to; Prayer, persistence in; Seen and Unseen; Spiritual Perception


  • Illustration: A painting titled Hope pictures a tattered woman sitting on top of a troubled world.
  • Many give the illusion of power, but live in a reality of pain.

We need hope because we live in a reality of pain

  • Illustration: As a pastor, Wright knows of those whose existence is a quiet hell.
  • Hannah seemed to be on top of the world, but she despaired over childlessness.
  • Illustration: The hope in the painting could only be seen in the vertical dimension, in the notes of music the woman sent toward heaven.

The vertical dimension gives us the audacity to hope

  • Romans 5:35
  • The vertical dimension balances out the horizontal dimension.
  • Despite her physical circumstances, Hannah poured out her heart to God.
  • Romans 8:24
  • Isaiah 40:31
  • Illustration: The slave song, "Over my head I hear music in the air."

When there is no evidence of God's love, we must have the audacity to hope

  • Make music and praise God, even though you can't see what he's going to do.
  • Illustration: Wright's parents sang, "Thank you Jesus," at the strangest times.


  • Keep on hoping and praying, because God does answer prayer.

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