What Are You HOPING For?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Substance (in the Greek) = setting under, to
stand beneath something.
We might say that Faith is a foundation or stand which holds the “things hoped for” from moving, tipping or sinking out of view…
Hope (in the Greek) = expectation (for what
When you become convinced about something, your expectations change.
If you know that:
-the tires on your vehicle are bald, you expect a flat (or worse).
-you have read and studied for a test, you expect to do well.
-you have worked a lot of over-time, you expect a big check.
Is it possible to SEE the faith someone has? Of course.
-a person with bald tires looks nervous about it and asks about tire
prices, availability, etc…
-a person who has studied well for an exam is relaxed and confident as
the test is handed out.
-a person who has worked a lot of over-time looks weary and feels that
the boss “owes him”.
This chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as “the faith chapter”. What is intriguing is that it is actually about something we cannot see. It is about HOPE. Even more amazing is that so many people in such different circumstances had the same hope!
Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Each of the examples in this chapter shows that they were convinced that a New Kingdom was coming! Some refer to it as Eden, some as the Promised Land, some as the Kingdom of Heaven.
First, God built the universe by Faith. His purpose was to establish the Kingdom of God among men…
Abel, Enoch, Abraham and Sarah ALL believed promises from God that were not fulfilled before their deaths!
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Many will read these verses and think that they are about how much people have gotten from God. Actually, they are about that which God had promised and NOT YET GIVEN TO THEM.
Of course, God fulfills many promises in our lifetimes and gives us precious gifts.
Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
Even the very gifts of God are often sacrificed because of our Great Hope in Him!
What IS that hope?
How valuable is it?
Consider Abraham’s wealth:
Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
-He sought something more valuable than this world’s wealth…
Consider Moses and why he left it all behind to hide out for years as a vagrant criminal in the deserts:
Hebrews 11:24-27 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Isn’t it a surprise that Moses was looking for Christ in the wilderness? How could that be? Moses didn’t have the Bible. He didn’t seem to go to Synagogue (“Church” hadn’t started yet…).
Come to think of it, these faithful people didn’t believe in “The Bible”, but in God THE SAVIOR!! God spoke to each of them personally. Sometimes He sent an angel, a prophet or talked through a burning bush, but EACH of these people had HEARD from God and BELIEVED what He told them.
Sometimes I have felt a bit jealous of those “old testament” folk because God did such awesome things for them… The scripture says something different:
Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Better than Elijah calling down fire from heaven?
Better than Moses parting the sea?
Hebrews 11:32-35 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
Let’s consider what this book of Hebrews was written to explain:
Hebrews 1:1-3 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
In these LAST DAYS, God speaks to us through His son Jesus. Jesus’ words were written down so that you and I can experience what the “old testament” saints were waiting for…
What the angels are desiring to look into…
What kings and princes longed to know…
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Jesus died to save us and rose from the dead that we might live!
Jesus will send the Holy Spirit to them that accept Him as their Messiah.
Matthew 11:28-30 (Jesus says…)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Knowing that Jesus has saved you for an eternity with Him will certainly change what you expect from this world. J!
-where others have fear, you will have peace.
-where others are lost, you will know the way.
-where others despair without hope, your hope will abound (overflow).
-where others have grief, you will have joy.
Listen to what Jesus has said to you.
Trust Jesus with your life and future.
He died for you so that you can live for Him!
Put your hope in Christ!!