Sermon: Faith and hope
Hebrews 11:1-3, 1 Peter 1:7
We are visual people. We talk about our understanding of the world as we perceive it. We even use the phrase, “how we see the world.” Yet, just about everything works around our sight, how we see, view, or perceive.
As Christians, we may be blessed with five physical senses, and our sight is at the forefront of those senses, yet we’re called to understand the world not with our eyes, but with our hearts.
SEEING PAST THE EYE MEANS FAITH.
Confidence, trust, conviction, belief, and assurance, all mean the same thing…FAITH.
Confidence, expectation, animation, courage, optimism, and faith, all mean the same thing…HOPE.
There’re only a few things that are more misunderstood than faith, yet, few things are more important.
Let me ask you this…
* Have you ever wondered about your faith?
* Have you ever doubted you had faith?
* Have you ever wished you had more faith?
* Have you ever thought you had faith?
We all must have faith in our lives. We must be active in faith because faith works for us only as we work our faith.
FAITH REQUIRES DOING, BEING, SPEAKING, LIVING, AND LOVING GOD AND OTHERS.
We as people sometimes fail to realize just how discouragement, fear, and frustration are related to a faulty sense of hope.
We fail to realize how that faulty sense of hope drives away our faith.
Sometimes, we can get so caught up in looking for evidence for faith, that we forget that faith doesn’t require evidence…faith is the evidence…it is the very essence of our hope.
The measure of out faith is not our talk…it is our walk!
FAITH IS WHAT WE DO…IT IS NOT WHAT…WE SAY WE WILL DO.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that if you see only with your eyes, you’ll miss out on hope.
One of the mistakes we make in life is thinking that just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there.
GOD WANTS US TO GROW SPIRITUALLY AND LEARN TO TRUST HIM…HE IS STILL IN CHARGE, EVEN IF WE CAN’T SEE HIM WITH OUR EYES.
Sometimes our eyes cloud what a person is really saying. Sometimes our visual expectation of what should be is lacking the true design, the true purpose.
God builds our faith by testing it. He builds our faith by trying it. Faith is like a muscle, and when it’s worked and stretched and pulled, it develops.
Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
But for us Christians it means, “taking up a cross, denying self” …it means a harder life in some ways than not following him…
* It means having faith in god’s plan for us
* It may be hard, and it may hurt, and we may not understand.
LET’S TALK ABOUT HOPE.
Hope means having courage when things are hopeless. When everything seems hopeless, and we manage to have the inner belief, hope begins to be our strength.
THAT IS WHEN OUR FAITH BEGINS TO KICK IN.
Life is a process of growth, and we must realize that sometimes being a Christian is harder than not being one.
The temptation is to give up, or at the very least to stand still, unable to move forward.
* Faith can seem hopeless when we’re faced with hard choices.
* Faith can be a challenge when we face personal suffering.
When our hope is totally in the Lord we’re not disturbed when things don’t go our way. When we have hope that is sure and unwavering, that is grounded in a living relationship with God…
WE HAVE THAT HOPE THAT TRANSFORMS OUR LIFE.
All too often, hope is placed in the wrong thing…
* People have hope in themselves
* People have hope in their jobs
* People have hope in their friends
* People have hope in their finances
All these things will fail you!
BUT GUESS WHAT, OUR HOPE IS ROOTED IN THE GOD AND FATHER OF JESUS CHRIST, BECAUSE HE WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!
* Because his word is true
* His promises are sure
* And his salvation is eternal
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Dan Pacheco is the Pastor at College Heights Baptist Church