S2EP99 - Faith and Hope

Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 99 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  I’m Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes, or so, we are going to be talking about faith and hope.

Hebrew 11:1 CSB tells us that “faith is the reality,” or assurance, “of what is hoped for, the proof,” or conviction, “of what is not seen.”  Faith is being fully convinced, fully assured of something to be reality with no need for proof.  And hope is a confident expectation to see what you believe.  Romans 8:24 CSB says, “Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?”  and 1 Corinthians 4:18 CSB, “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Our faith and hope of salvation are placed in what we cannot see and believe with no evidence.

People try to complicate concepts like faith and hope, but we use both on a daily basis as effortlessly as blinking.  You sit in a chair without doubting that it will hold you up, that’s faith.  You order food at a restaurant and watch for it to come out, that’s hope.  You use your debit card to pay for things without doubt that the transaction will go through, that’s faith.    You order something online and watch for it to be delivered, that’s hope.

Alright, have you ever ordered anything from Amazon?  It’s amazing, from start to finish you know exactly what to expect.  You pull up amazon.com, or if you want a part of your purchase to support a nonprofit, like The Ekklesian House, then you’ve pulled up smile.amazon.com.  You browse and search, do you want the red one or the blue one, maybe the yellow.  You compare and contrast, this one’s taller than that one, but this one reminds you of your grandma’s kitchen.  You checkout ratings and read reviews, some of which make you laugh a little too hard.  This process continues until you find exactly what you’re looking for and add it to your cart.

When you access the cart they present you with shipping options of different prices and delivery dates so you know exactly what to expect.  When your order ships they send you an email with tracking information so you know exactly what to expect.  If you’re anything like me you check for updated tracking every day or two brimming with expectation.  On the day of delivery you get another email letting you know that your order is out for delivery and you know what to expect.

Why? Why do you know what to expect when you order from Amazon?  Experience, right?  Either you’ve ordered before, or someone you trust has ordered before and told you about it.  You’re probably asking yourself  how did we get off track like this, what any of this has to do with faith and hope.  The simple answer, is everything.

Let’s go through that again, when you order from Amazon you have faith that things will turn out a certain way.  You pull up smile.amazon.com because you want a part of your order to go towards a nonprofit who can use it to do some good in the world.  You hope that you will find what you’re looking for.  So you browse and search, compare and contrast, checkout ratings and read reviews until you find what you’re looking for and add it to your cart.

In your cart you have all the official information that you can place your faith in right there in front of you.  When your order ships you get an e-mail reminding you of what you’ve placed your faith in.  You’re driven by hope into checking for updated tracking information every day or two.  On the day of delivery, you get another e-mail and with faith you hope for the arrival of the delivery.

What did we read in Hebrew 11:1 CSB before? “faith is the reality,” or assurance, “of what is hoped for, the proof,” or conviction, “of what is not seen.”  Faith is being fully convinced, fully assured of something to be reality with no need for proof.  And hope is a confident expectation to see what you believe.  Romans 8:24 CSB says, “Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?”  and 1 Corinthians 4:18 CSB, “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Our faith and hope of salvation are placed in what we cannot see and believe with no evidence.  It sounds deep and complicated, but it really isn’t.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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