Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Shepastor: "Faith, Hope and Something..."
Some years ago I was asked the question, “What is the difference between faith and hope?” I responded that hope and faith are closely related. “Hope” looks forward with a desire for “something” to happen. Faith declares, “I believe that something will happen.” The old deacons at my home church in Akron used to pray, “Lord, I know you can and I believe you will!” I’ve heard the acronym used, “P.U.S.H,” “Pray until something happens. The concept of “something” is loaded. “Something” suggests that we don’t know what is going to happen. We don’t know what it will look like. We don’t know what it will feel like. It is elusive. While our desire for a particular something to happen may keep us with tip-toe anticipation, our belief that something will happen goes beyond hope to a depth level trust.
The King James Version of this verse, Hebrews 11:1 declares, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. “Substance” is a term that is used to describe the essence of something. The “stuff,” the anatomy, the composition, the make up, the worth of something. Sometimes you will hear someone say, “this or that was “substantive” or if something was plentiful, or large, we might say, “it was ‘substantial’” The prefix, “sub” suggests something beneath like a “submarine” or the “sub-board,” it is beneath, holding something up, foundational. So when we hear that “faith is the ‘substance’ of things hoped for…” that suggests that “faith” is the foundation of our hope.
When you hit rock bottom, faith will meet you there for it is the foundation upon which we must stand. Faith gives us the assurance to keep on hoping. I said earlier that “Hope” looks forward with a desire for “something” to happen. Faith declares, “I believe that something will happen.”
Faith empowers us to exchange our something with God’s something. When what we hoped for or anticipated does not come to pass, faith sustains our belief that God’s something will actually fulfill our desires. While hope is critical to our survival, faith is essential to helping us navigate, interpret and ultimately embrace all of the “somethings” that will happen in our lives. Continue to trust that God’s “something” will always be immeasurably more than the something that you were looking for and for God reasons, you did not receive.
The song writer declared, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand…"
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Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,