Hope. The Starting point of Faith

I recently began a series of teaching on faith. A clear understanding of faith is vital to every Christian believer. It is spoken about countless times throughout the New Testament, to the point where Hebrews 11:6 states that you cannot even please God without it. Four times we are instructed  that we must ‘walk’ by faith. So what is faith and how do we ‘walk by faith?’ This might seem pretty basic, but it really is not. It is very simple, yet it is not easy to live a life of faith. For example, all throughout the Bible, stories of faith are illustrated, examples are given, yet there is only one chapter in the whole Bible that details the people who actually lived by it. (Hebrews 11). Yeah, selah on that; over a period of about 4,000 years only about a handful of people actually lived by faith.

 

I don’t think much of anything in the Bible is very complicated. I’m sure you can find a 16 CD series on faith, or a 600 page book on the subject, but I’m going to illustrate it in one (fairly) short article. As I’ve stated in earlier posts, faith is the most powerful force in the universe. Through it the worlds were framed, animals created, bodies healed, debts cancelled, etc. However you cannot isolate faith. Faith is not intended to work by itself. It can only work with hope and love, its two siblings that do not get much publicity. Hope probably gets the least amount of publicity, its kind of like the Kourtney Kardashian of the trio.  So in order to fully understand the concept of faith, we will discuss hope.

 

In no way is hope any less powerful than faith or love. In fact, you could argue that it is the most powerful. The hope that I am describing is not the traditional concept of hope. The traditional view of hope is synonymous to wishful thinking.  I am ‘hoping and a praying’ that I get healed. I am ‘hoping and a praying’ I get that bill paid. The traditional view of hope is very similar to the traditional concept of prayer, but that’s a whole different topic.

Everything begins with hope.  Without hope there is not faith, there is no victory, there is nothing.  Hope can be defined as joyful expectation based on a promise given to you by God. It is rooted in the Word of God and revealed to you either by the written Word of God, a spoken word directly from God, a vision, a sermon, a blog article (like this one), or about 50 other ways that God can speak to you. The focus however is the Word of God; it cannot contradict what is written. You cannot have biblical hope that a man you find is physically attractive will leave his wife and be with you, that is opposite the Word.

 

Biblical hope must remain alive. I remember a phrase Jesse Jackson used to say, ‘Keep Hope Alive’; nothing could be more true than that statement. Your hope, or your joyful expectation will ignite your faith. Before faith can kick in, you must have a clear picture of what you expect. Give your mind and spirit something to work with. For example, you have just contracted some form of sickness and you decide to use these concepts of hope, faith, and love to overcome.  Even though this example is for healing, the concept works in all scenarios.

First begin with developing your hope. Through the Word, you know that you have a divine right for your body to be healed. Get out every scripture you can pertaining to divine healing, write them down and keep them ever present before your eyes. Now you are beginning to get excited, because you are building up your hope, your joyful expectation. You are developing a clear picture what God has said to you, that He would heal you, and now you are filled with joy and expectation.  Literally see yourself (in your imagination) completely healed. That is hope.

On a sidenote, biblical hope employs the use of your imagination. Imagination is a tool given to us, that very few believers actually put to use. Usually when most people think of imagination, we think of bad stuff like sexual perversion, but this is a God-given tool, that is to be used to ‘see’ things before they actually occur.  Society tells children to quit imagining things at a young age, so by the time we are adults, this gift is usually turned off, and needs to be developed again. Train your imagination to ‘see’ in the Spirit those things which have been freely given to us by God. People may think you are crazy, but your amazing results will prove otherwise.

Faith brings what you ‘hope’ into the natural realm from the ‘imagined’ or spirit world to make it a reality; but it all starts with hope. A joyful expectation of what God spoke to you. How do you develop hope? Where does it actually come from?  Well, it doesn’t come from you. You didn’t make this stuff up.  Take time each day to spend in God’s presence. He will speak to you in the form of ideas, witty concepts; things that are way bigger than you. Take time to search the scriptures for promises he spoke directly to you thousands of years ago and allow Him to illuminate their hidden value to you.

Everything starts with hope.

 

Troy Anthony Smith is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Demonstrate It, an organization that believes in healings, signs, and wonders. Mr. Smith currently resides in Hollywood,CA, where he can be found at the grocery stores, malls, and street corners, laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.

 

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