Hope: to desire something with confident expectation of its fulfillment
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” I heard this thought provoking quote recently and it led me to dig deeper into its meaning. This quote suggests a dream or desire that is not yet visible. It also suggests that in order to attain it, you must be able to “see the invisible.”
Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “Hope itself is like a star- not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.”
There are times when hope seems lost – when what we hope for seems impossible. At times we give up hoping. What must we do in order to regain our hope when darkness surrounds us? At those times we must step out of ourselves and into the place that will bring us hope. It starts with faith.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 Paul teaches about spiritual gifts. Notice that these are gifts, not something we must produce within ourselves. In verse 6 Paul states that although there are varieties of gifts, it is God who empowers them all in everyone. The purpose of these gifts is stated in verse 7 “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” Then he lists several spiritual gifts and in verse 9 one of the gifts in Paul’s list is “great faith.”
Just as with any gift, it must be received. In a Bible study I was teaching, we were discussing the gift of faith. One person said, “Because of faith we are able to see the invisible.” The truth of that statement is found in Hebrews 11:1 (NLT). “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
So now we see the connection of faith and hope. Faith is the foundation of hope. Without faith it is difficult to “see the invisible.” Activation of our faith which is based upon our trust in God gives us hope.
Everything comes down to just one thing – our trust in God. Our trust in God is not one of the spiritual gifts. Trust is something we must learn.
Some would ask, “How can I learn to trust in God?” This is difficult if God is a stranger to you. But just as you would take time and effort learning to trust a friend, you must spend time getting to know about God’s character and attributes. The Bible gives us a clear picture of a loving God who simply would not give up on us. God is worthy of our trust because He never lies and never fails to fulfill His promises. He proves Himself to be trustworthy in our lives and the lives of others. What alternative do we have? Would we trust in ourselves, in others who are unreliable and have limited wisdom, or the all-wise, all-knowing, all powerful, gracious, merciful, loving God who wants good things for us? The choice should be obvious, but we must seek to know Him.
In Psalm 9:10 (NIV) we read, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Therein lies the key to hope. Seek God. Know who He is. The more you know Him, the greater your trust in Him and the greater your trust, the greater your faith, and your faith in God will bring hope. With a knowledge of who God is, trusting in Him, you will begin to see the invisible. You will be what you cannot see.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
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