FAITH is to HOPE as PEANUT BUTTER is to ____________.
Welcome back to the last of our 3 part series on a message so, so needed by many today, the message of HOPE! I’m sure you have already and correctly answered the analogy. It certainly wasn’t SAT hard… Ugh… I remember taking that thing! And if I may say so… YUM on that sandwich, so… I made one…
Let’s do a quick recap...
As a result of prayer for the new year, The Lord greatly impressed upon me that 2022 would be the “Year of HOPE”! Personally, I needed to see hope in this very business, particularly in conquering my fears and lack of knowledge regarding technology. I also needed to see hope in the future of this country. Now, if you know me, you KNOW my ultimate hope is FIRMLY planted in The Lord, Jesus Christ. He WILL return one day! I live my life knowing this. And even though of that I am certain, I still have days where I am in need of a reminder and encouragement as I battle “life”. Can I get an “AMEN”?
I looked to the Bible and was led to study the lives of three Old Testament patriarchs, Noah, Abraham and Joseph. In Part 1, we read the scriptures dedicated to each of them. In Part 2, we considered their names and what they meant. In that, we found their very lives were indeed stories of hope. We discovered they each had hope because of the one thing that provided it… great FAITH in God. Today, we will see how without their kind of faith, we can not have that kind of hope.
With that, let’s begin Part 3…
Friends, the stories of Noah, Abraham and Joseph do not end here… not by a long shot! Our three faithful and hopeful heroes are once again found, this time in the New Testament: The Book of Hebrews.
Within The Book of Hebrews sits the very important Chapter 11 also known by Bible scholars as “The Hall of Faith”. How cool is this? This chapter was written to encourage the Jews who were believers in Christ as they suffered persecution in Rome under the emperor Nero in the early 60’s AD. The author is a bit of a mystery, although Paul and Luke have been speculated. This chapter’s purpose is to prove through heroes of the past, that even though we may suffer, God’s promises for a future (in other words… HOPE) are indeed reliable and trustworthy. How? Because each member of this “club”, each Biblical hero throughout the Bible thus far, is an example of it.
So, who are these heroes?
THE HALL of FAITH
Abel, Enoch, NOAH, ABRAHAM, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, JOSEPH, Moses and Rahab.
We would be remiss to not mention the Honorables:
Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets.
Notice anyone special? You got it! It’s our favorite three. Yep… I’d say they belong there, wouldn’t you? The others? Well, some you may know, some you may not. I can tell you this… NONE of them were perfect, but ALL of them had tremendous faith! That statement right there should give anyone hope. If I could pick one for you to read about right now, it would be Rahab… another one of my favorite characters. Her story is found in Joshua 2. Here’s a link.
Before we go on to the text, Please allow me to start with this promise as it is true for everything I write…
~ I do my very best to be trustworthy and especially true to The Word of God.
I look at various texts and translations. I even pray that I am doing right by God.
I NEVER want to twist or turn His inerrant Word to fit my writings.
Please know that. ~
Let’s look at the text…
Hebrews 11: 1-2: (KJV): Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
At its core, faith (trust, assurance, confidence) is belief in something you cannot see. Your faith increases (or decreases) as you experience different things in your life. Faith builds upon past experiences. For example: Let’s say you need to travel from Florida to Italy. You must take an airplane, right? As you step on that plane, you have “faith” that it will arrive safely. Otherwise, you would not get on, right? Naturally, that means you have HOPE: Hope in the plane and its instruments, hope in the pilot, hope in its mechanics, hope in the staff.
Now “hope” (a strong, confident, assured expectation) relies on the proof of the past and then looks to the future. Back to our example, Faith tells you, you’ve arrived to your destinations safely on many flights before, the pilots have steered it correctly, so why would this not be the case now?
Your faith provides your hope!
FAITH is to HOPE as PEANUT BUTTER is to JELLY! Get it now?
Let’s make this Godly…
We build our Godly faith by believing, trusting and obeying. We build it by praying, worshipping and contending (standing firm even when it is hard). When we see God work in our lives... when we see Him fulfill His promises. Our faith builds. And if He did it before… He’ll do it again. So… the stronger our faith, the more we have hope. Think of a situation, any situation where you know it “had to be God”, and you will see how true that is.
Let’s take it a step further… true Christian faith believes and continues even when it “looks like” we may not get what we hoped for. How? Because the true Christian has what we call the “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13)… and that is the hope that NO MATTER WHAT it “looks like” here on earth… Jesus Christ is our ETERNAL HOPE and is ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS for us! Proof? John 3:16.
Let’s bring this home…
Need HOPE? It is found all over in God’s Holy Word. It begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. We see it clearly in Hebrews 11. The faith of these many heroes, including our beloved Noah, Abraham and Joseph, can not be helped but to be accompanied by hope!
So, friends, brothers and sisters… BE ENCOURAGED TODAY! HAVE HOPE! There are too many examples… too many proofs that even though we may not be perfect (by the way, we didn’t discuss it here, but our three patriarchs… well… they were not perfect by any means: drunkenness, lying, adultery, pride), even though life is hard, even though people mistreat us and drastically so at times, even though we face destruction… there is HOPE. And that hope could not be shown any greater than in the hope we have in our Savior, Jesus Christ!
So I ask you… Do you know Him… really know Him? If not, I am here to pray with you.
So, until next time… Here’s hoping the best is yet to come!
Now its time to eat that peanut butter and jelly sandwich.