HERE I AM, SEND ME: VIVACIOUS HOPE
Hope is a great power in our lives. Without a sense of hope, we feel trapped, we experience higher levels of anxiety, and we are thrust into the darkness of despair. Often times our hope is based on our circumstances. If life is in a good place, if things are going smoothly, and if the economy is going well, then we are naturally more hopeful. What happens when our circumstances are shattered and goodness seems like a distant memory? Despair begins to haunt us and call our name! We want to give up. In our series Here I am, Send me the sermon this week is Vivacious Hope. Faith and hope are partners in giving us strength for the most difficult times. Hebrews 11:1-10 gives a definition of faith that is directly tied to the power of hope: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1, NIV) This entire chapter is filled with a singular phrase, “by faith.” Faith is able to give us a hope that cannot be overcome because it is not dependent upon our ability, courage, or circumstances! Who doesn’t want this hope? Unfortunately, it is not automatic, its depth is dependent upon our willingness to have faith or to trust, God with our lives. This is a hard choice, it is easier to trust our strengths or resources because we can see them. These believers were suffering difficulty and hardship that confronted them with the choice of what or who they would trust. These words reminded them and us that God is faithful. When we choose to put our trust in him then we will find an undeniable light in the darkness of despair! They also help us see a clearer path over the obstacles of faith and into the light and peace of God’s presence. Our prayer for you is that you will be filled with a powerful hope in our living God as you read Hebrews 11:1-10.
Hebrews 11:1-10 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 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. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (NIV)