Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

It is common for Christians to wish one another “good luck” when events, challenges or important circumstances are faced.  Now, some readers may remark, “Well, but that’s not what I mean when I tell someone, ‘good luck’”.  But really, what do we mean?  I would venture to say that in some cases, we actually mean that we “hope” things go well.  What are we hoping for, though, and in whom are we depositing that hope in?       

To write about hope is usually easy when things are going well.  As long as we are on top of our game or things seem to be fine, we can agree that hope is an easily attainable outlook.  In addition to the ease that favorable life situations present, the ability for us as human beings to distance ourselves from the needs others, helps us to buffer our hearts and minds from our neighbor and it makes hoping easier.  At least we hope so.   

For Christians, hope should be defined as the diligent expectation in the faithfulness & trustworthy nature and sovereignty of God.  It is faith in God that nurtures and nourishes the hope I address here.  If He is faithful to His word, we can trust Him, no matter what.  Throughout human history, God has been faithful to His children even when we have abandoned Him for other idols.  He will keep His promises and never forsake us.     

The issue of sovereignty also needs to be understood.  Without entertaining long and cumbersome theological language, let me say that sovereignty is understood as the unquestionable power God has over all creation.  In Matthew 5:34-36 (NIV), Jesus says, “But I tell you, do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.  And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.”  The earth is God’s footstool.  We know that the universe is His and He controls all things.  Therefore, we know that God’s power covers all of our circumstances.  His care, protection and favor, are indisputable. 

We may know these things, but do we believe them?  We may have heard of God’s faithfulness and sovereignty, but do we believe that He can take our situations and care for them in good ways we cannot even imagine?  Hebrews 11:1 speaks of faith as what propels us into the heavens of hope.  The certainty that God is who God is will not come through intellectualization or blind faith.  Rather, it is measured by the intimacy we have with God.  Only then can we live in faith, hoping in the certainty of God’s goodness and love toward us. 

One final item of consideration, though.  What about those times when God doesn’t seem to answer?  What about those times when it seems as if God didn’t answer us in the manner we prayed for?  Our hope will falter.  It will be bruised and battered at times.  Yet, God doesn’t sleep or slumber.  His promises are eternal and steadfast, even when life seems to drop the entire dead weight of the world upon us.  He will be there to take on the entire weight on His shoulders for us.  Yet, none of this is easy or should ever be taken lightly.  There are many Christian men & women burying their children somewhere and lifting up holy hands to heaven asking why.  The issue of hope isn’t about whether we do lose it on occasion or not.  It’s the mystery of hoping in spite of what we see.  It’s about hoping in spite of hope, knowing that even though all things seems to be in darkness, God’s light will breakthrough at the perfect time.  That’s faith for you... I hope.  


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