Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: Hope in action
By Margaret Watson
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‘I hope you’re soon feeling better’. ‘I hope to see you soon’ ,’I hope you received my cheque’ – How easily we use the word. My dictionary says it combines anticipation and desire. You will probably be familiar with the words of the writer to the Hebrews in 11 v 1 (KJV) Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’
I like that use of substance – something solid, tangible, measurable even. The Message Bible puts it like this ‘The fundamental fact of existence is this trust in God, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It is our handle on what we can’t see.’ The rest of the chapter is of course a list of the heroes of the faith and their experiences – their experiences of putting their faith into practice – of making their hopes for the future solid and real by actions they performed in the here and now. What an example for us today.
So many people can point to the call of God in their lives – some can point to positive responses to that call, but how often do we really step out. How often are we prepared to make real changes because of the hope we have for the future. God may have called you to stay right where you are, to continue in your local church, but have you asked Him recently what He wants you to do there? Situations change, new opportunities arise – are you stepping out in faith and hope to meet them – faith in God and hope for the future in His service.
Or maybe God is asking you something else? If God wants you to move out he will make it just as clear as he did to Abram all that time ago – but you’ll need to respond as Abram did – no turning back, no excuses, no ‘Maybe later’ or ‘How can I leave my job, family, friends etc’ I remember some years ago meeting a lady whom God had called to leave her local church in a tiny village where she led the youth work church and to work for him instead in a large city where, so it seemed to her, he already had plenty of workers. But the call was persistant and she responded. It would be nice to say that someone else came forward to take over the youth work, but they never did. Yet I know and the husband she met in that city have touched more lives for Christ than she would have met in a lifetime in her village. We cannot always sense of God’s call – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t respond.
If our hope in God is real, it must be capable of being seen in action. In verse six of Hebrews 11 we are told that without faith, without hope in God ‘it is impossible to please God.’ If you really claim that your hope is in God put that hope into action.
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