Faith and Hope

Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:8: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Have you been waiting for an answer to a prayer? Have you been waiting a long time for that prayer to be answered? Have you prayed and hoped that God would show himself in the midst of your daily struggles and worries? Have you wondered if God has forgotten you? Is it possible that God has been at work in your life all along, opening up a path that will lead you to where God wants you to go? 

For me, it is the unanswered and unseen side of God that causes me to allow doubt and frustration to enter my mind. I know and I believe that God is present with me, much closer than I probably realize. But it’s the not seeing and not knowing that causes me to struggle with doubt and to question God. The psalmist understood this when he wrote: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 42:5). We all go through times when we struggle with doubt and with God’s silence; however, we must continue to praise God as we persevere.

The Apostle Paul understood the significance of perseverance and he wrote about it in his Letter to the Romans. Paul was familiar with suffering for the sake of the gospel and he certainly gives us a great example of one who persevered. Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

As believers, we have a hope, a certain confidence, that God is faithful to those who profess their belief in him. We may not completely understand what God is doing, but we trust that whatever it is, God is working things out for our own good. God has never spoken in an audible voice to tell me what he is doing in my life, although there are many times when I wished he would! For me, my faith gives me a confidence that in spite of my failures and struggles, God is going to use those experiences to make me a stronger and more capable follower. And so I continue to persevere with a hope that God will lead me where he wants me to go.

We are left with little choice but to wait upon God to provide us with answers and guidance. Waiting does not come natural for many of us, especially in today’s society. We easily become impatient, even while waiting on God. Hebrews gives us the answer to how we must wait and it is an answer that I am not completely comfortable with. The writer of Hebrews tells us of the certainty of God’s promise as it related to Abraham. God told Abraham that he would bless him and give him many descendants and Abraham believed God and took him at his word. And then we are told: And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised (Hebrews 6:15). As children of God, we too must learn to wait patiently upon the Lord.

During this time, we have this “hope” that is given to us, so that we may be encouraged while we wait upon God to act. Hebrews 6:19: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. That hope is found through our belief in Jesus Christ, who has become an anchor for our soul, keeping us safe and secure and giving us hope. The storms of life will come our way, but we can take hope and comfort in knowing that God is faithful and he will bless those who remain true to their faith, wait patiently and persevere.

Even though I have never heard or seen God, I believe that God exists. Because of my confident belief in Christ, I choose to persevere and have faith that God is already at work on answers to my prayers, even if the answer is “no”. I don’t have to “see” proof in order to believe that my God is alive and real. I have faith and hope!

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