Summary: Faith without hope is not faith at all and we need to anticipate the working of God if our faith is to produce any results.
A Faith That Gives Hope
Griffith Baptist Church – 1/4/09
Text: Hebrews 11:22 (Gen. 50:22-26)
Key verse: Hebrews 11:22 - By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Premise: Faith without hope is not faith at all and we need to anticipate the working of God if our faith is to produce any results.
One night at dinner a man, who had spent many summers in Maine, fascinated his companions by telling of his experiences in a little town named Flagstaff. The town was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the use of painting a house if it were to be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, week by week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone. Then he added by way of explanation: “Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.” Halford E. Luccock, Unfinished Business.
Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for . . .
The Story of Joseph is one of absolute faith and trust in Almighty God, regardless of the circumstances
(Relate the story of Joseph in regards to faith)
Joseph teaches us something concerning hope through a simple request concerning his bones.
Let’s go back to Gen. 50:22-26 and discover three motivations for having a hopeful faith.
1. A Joyful Hope
A. A pastor was talking to a group of young people about the high cost of dying. "People today waste thousands of dollars on coffins and monuments," he said. "Jesus was so unconcerned by His death that He had to use a borrowed tomb." Leave it to our youth to get to the bottom line and put things in perspective. A teen-ager raised her hand and said, "But Jesus only needed it for three days." (Joyful Noiseletter, 4/2001, p. 2, The Lord’s Laughter. Contributed by Dr. John Bardsley)
B. Joseph found joy in serving God (vv. 22-23):
i. God was faithful in all the ups and downs of Joseph’s life
ii. Joseph was blessed with long years and family
iii. He was reunited with his brothers and father
C. We have a great God that it is a pleasure to serve
D. Times of despair can still give way to a wonderful joy
E. What is this joy we have because of our faith
i. Salvation – joy in sins forgiven – Psalms 35:9 - And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
ii. The Holy Spirit – joy in God’s indwelling – Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
iii. The Bible – joy in God speaking to us – Jeremiah 15:16 - Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
iv. Prayer – joy in the privilege of speaking to God
2. An Expectant Hope
A. A young man had been watching her walk by his house for days. Every day a certain neighbor gal walked by, the more he noticed her long dark hair - her gentle smile - her soft features - they were all things that beckoned his heart to go beyond the living room window and meet this girl of his affections - he was “in love”. After days and seeming months of expectation, he finally decided to try and break the barrier - to tell the girl how he felt. So one afternoon he planned it just right. At 3:15, he went out and started drawing his feelings on the sidewalk. That way, when she walked by at 3:30, he wouldn’t have to tell her to her face. He thought, “What would be cute? What would be an indirect way of showing her my feelings?” Finally, he figured it out. He would draw out an eye, a heart, and then a female sheep - a ewe. His heart seemed to be jumping through his chest as this specimen of beauty walked by. She stopped, looked, and said, “oh, you love sheep, that’s nice”. She didn’t get the meaning of the message he was trying to convey.
B. Joseph gave a prediction that God would bring them into the land of promise (24-25)
i. He would visit them (used twice), which means to attend to or pay attention to