Summary: Can faith exist without hope? When God gives us a promise, do we accept it by faith? Do we keep hope alive that the promise will be fulfilled? So, can you have faith without hope....? Let's find out.
Church of God in Harvey
Sunday Morning, August 7th, 2011
Let us pray
“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 118: 1)
Has God been good to you, despite all that has been going on? If we are depending on the stock market, we might be on the loosing end, because last week the stock market took a plunge. If we are depending on the president, and all those who work along with him, we might have to wait for awhile, and just simple trust in God. If our trust is in God, let’s just keep on trusting, because God is the source of all our help. All around us might fail, but God, the one who is our source, he will never fail.
We were blessed in our Missionary Day last Sunday, as Sister Williams shared with us on “The Quality of the Christian Life.” In order to have that quality life, there are certain fruit we have to produce. Just in case we all might have forgotten them, let us be reminded as to what is expected of us as Christians. In Galatians 5 verses 22 and 23 we read, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. Let’s ask ourselves this question, am I as loving as I should be?
During Vacation Bible School I was talking with a few of the saints at the main entrance, and I found myself saying, “faith without hope,” and then I stopped. Then someone continued by saying, “faith without works is dead.” As I went home that night, I pondered as to why I said faith without hope. I pondered why that idea came to my mind. What happened on that day during Vacation Bible School, leads to the topic of my sermon for today, “Can you have faith without hope.” Is faith and hope the same thing? Can you have one without the other? Is it possible as God’s child to have faith in God, and yet feel completely hopeless? Is it possible as a child of God to feel so hopeless that you are willing to take your own life?
Have you ever felt frustrated? Have you ever felt downcast? Have you ever felt uncertain as to what to do? If you have, then you are in good company. Elijah had just witnessed the moving of the mighty hand of God. He had prayed to God, and God had sent fire from heaven consuming the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. The prophets of Baal were destroyed, and it appears all was well with Elijah, but shortly after we find Elijah was on the run, he was frustrated, because Jezebel decided she was going to have him killed. Elijah in his frustration went and sat under a juniper tree, and he made a request to God, that he might die. Here is what the prophet of God said, “It is enough now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” When is enough, enough? At what time in life do you think you have had it, and you just can’t take it any more? Elaborate…
Bro. Jonah the prophet had seen an entire nation spared. He had cried out to the city that in 40 days the city would be destroyed. The people heard the warning , they believed God and turned their lives over to God. God demonstrated his mercy, and repented of the evil, that he had said he would do to the people. Most evangelists would be praising God for such a revival; most pastors would be jumping and shouting just to see one person turning to the Lord, but Bro. Jonah was displeased, he was downcast, he became very angry, and prayed to the Lord to take his life. Here is what Jonah said to the Lord, “Therefore now, O Lord, take I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” Have you as God’s child ever found yourself so down that you want to give up, and even die?
Jesus our Lord had to face the cross, he knew he had to die for sinful man, but there in the Garden of Gethsemane with the tired disciples we found Jesus praying to the father, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I wilt, but as thou wilt.” Jesus finally resigned to the Father’s will. Thy will be done.