Sunday, March 11, 2012

Faith and Hope: A Lenten Reflection

The Book of Hebrews ties faith and hope closely together. When we hurt, we want it solved now. “How long, O Lord?” But faith is trust—trust in the God who holds and knows the future. 
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain's. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and "he was not found, because God had taken him." For it was attested before he was taken away that "he had pleased God." 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:1-6
This confidence--this "putting our trust in the faithfulness of God"-- leads us to hope. In Romans, Paul also addresses this connection between faith and hope... and the Holy Spirit.
1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

Father, help my unbelief and move me to trust you as the God of the future, just as you have been the God of my past and my present.

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