We as Christians are often asked? How much faith do you have? This every now and then is a good question. It is healthy for the believer to judge their dependency on God. However, I believe there is another question that we hardly ever ask ourselves and much less each other. That question is - where is your Hope?
The bible says that faith if the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen this is written in Hebrew 11 which Biblical scholars now called the hall of faith. The hall of faith showcases some of the greatest feats in the bible. From Abraham beginning the journey to the promised land to David the Shepard king defeating Goliath the tyrant. What this amazing list of amazing people have a great faith is it possible that there is a portion of the text that has eluded us.
The bible teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God. But there’s another player on the field that we may be overlooking, undervaluing and underutilizing. In the text, you will notice that the Hebrew writer’s description of faith and that it is the SUBSTANCE of something else. That thing is hope.
The word hope here when translated to the Greek or means to expect or to trust. The text is stating hope is the expected end. Hope says when it’s all over this is what I want. The word substance in the text translates to mean to stand under or to undergird or assure.
Many of think of Hope as a frivolous thing a fragile idea and not a target. We must realize that you have to choose a destination before faith can drive you there.
Now faith is the power from God to have confidence and assurance to achieve it. They must work together. For example, picture yourself as a quarterback. The receiver is the hope desired for. And faith is you actually throwing the ball putting in your own work your own effort calling on your belief and you throw. You see, they work together.
There’s a lot of teaching around having faith. But while all these teaching is happening we are watching a steady decline in churches across the nation. I believe that part of this issue is that we have not properly established hope. If we use the same example of the quarterback and I don’t have a receiver to throw it to then I just won’t throw. I believe that many young adults are struggling with hopelessness. The inability to see yourself past your current situation, state of being, financial status and a way of life. We have perfected a and very poor imitation carpe diem where we live for the moment or literally the second and did not understand or believe in the life that we can have in Christ Jesus. If a single mother, struggling alcoholic, gang member, drug addict or complacent Christian never sees them self-better why would they try? What would there be to put their faith in?
What are your hopes? For your marriage, for your business, for your walk with god? I believe some of us don’t have clear answers for these things and as a result are just living. But what happened how did we get here? I believe by consistently putting our hope in places and things that didn’t belong. Picture someone handing you a glass vase. You set it down on a table not realizing that it is slanted and it falls off and breaks. You pick it up grab some glue and quickly fix it. Would you set it back on the same table? Hopefully you would not. Jesus is the only place we can put our hope that will never let us down. Jesus will never fail us.
God once called a man named Abraham from this country, his people, his way of life and sends him on a journey to find Canaan - the promised land. Because of this decision, Abraham called the Father of Faith. Abraham following Gods command took great faith but where was the faith placed, what was his goal? God gave him a Hope a land of milk and honey. Faith pushed him along his journey but the faith he had was sourced in the expected end that God said was possible. Our faith is what undergirds our hope.
Now that we see the correlation between to two I challenge you to ask yourself are there things:
Situations or people in my life that I have not been interacting in faith with is it because I have lost hope?
If so What does the word of God say I should hope for these things?
I challenge you this year be very clear about what should hope for and put all your faith into it.
We are called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We must not only be a people of great faith and love. But a people who carry hope everywhere we go whether it be to work on a tough project, to visit a sick family members home, to meet with a friend to have a difficult conversation or just when we are alone pushing the storms of our own lives.
Remember Faith without Hope… is dead.