Summary: This message focuses on hope.
Painting God’s Masterpiece Part 6
Why Seeing Is Important
In my previous messages I shared with you that we are painting God’s masterpiece with our lives. God has a plan for each of us and He has drawn that plan on the canvas of our hearts. Although the blueprint is there, it is up to each of us to bring the image that God has implanted in our hearts into the reality of our life. This morning I will be focusing on why “seeing” is important and thus will be focusing primarily on hope. The first thing you will need to know is that hoping is not wishing. Let’s start with the book of Hebrews.
I. Hope Is Not A Wish
Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” We often talk about faith and what it means to our walk as Christians. We know that without faith it is impossible to please God for in order to worship Him it requires some measure of faith. None of us have seen God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit face to face so it takes faith to believe that they are and that they are active in our lives right now today. But this morning, I want you to focus on the word hope. In the verse we read, Paul said that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for….” meaning that before faith happens, you must already be seeing something and what you are seeing comes through hope. Hope is not a wish list; it is what we see inside of us before it is manifested in the natural according to God. It is important that we understand that God does not grant wishes but He does respond to our faith which is activated by hope. When you have hope – seeing the vision on the inside of you – you see things differently. This is why when people are diagnosed with a serious illness, the physician attempts to give them hope so that they can see themselves recovering. This “hope” helps the patient to not give up. The physician understands that when all hope is lost the patient sees themselves dying versus getting better. Hope allows us to see things differently from what is present all around us.
Consider the times when you had a mountain of bills to pay. As you looked at the bills, you had two choices for what you could see. You could see a lot of bills with no hope of getting them paid and thus the worrying starts or you can see the bills being paid. When you have the hope that the bills will be paid, your faith is activated and you have given God something to work with. There have been many times when all I had was hope and nothing else. When you begin to see it, you paint the picture. Hope allows you to see what shall be before it becomes a reality. It is what makes it come to reality because your faith will connect to it. Remember, faith is the assurance of things hoped for so you must have hope in order to activate your faith. When you have the hope, you begin to see a picture that is different.
We have often talked about the power of prayer and professing God’s word when we are praying. It does not matter how much of God’s word that we know and profess if we do not have hope. God’s word will not override what we believe in our hearts. Do you understand this? The battle that is being raged spiritually is for our hearts. God knows that once we believe something in our hearts, we will act on it. Satan also knows this so he is constantly trying to influence what we believe in our hearts. Think about it this way, someone said “You cannot talk yourself out of a problem you behaved yourself into.” Remember, we act on what we believe in our hearts. If our behaviors (actions) get us into trouble, we cannot talk (profess) our way out of it. Profession only works when we put actions behind it. So if we are professing sins that we will continue to do or professing God’s word that we have no hope in, those professions will not do any good because there is no accompanying action. Hope is what gives us the ability to see something that will be versus the present. Look at Romans 8:24-25.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (Romans 8:24-25) Imagine yourself hoping for a new house as you are standing in front of your new house. Would that make much sense? No, we hope for those things that we do not see; what we do not have. We have a visual picture of it in our minds because we can see it through hope and because we can see what no one else can, we wait eagerly for it. Now consider this (I am finding that I say that a lot – but I do want you to consider this), if you could not see yourself having what you are hoping for, would you wait for it? If there was no expectation that you would ever get what you were hoping for, would you bother waiting for it? Absolutely not! You would not spend time waiting for something that you had no hope of receiving. Is this starting to make sense? Your hope allows you to see what shall be and it gives you the ability to wait for what you’re hoping to come to past. We were saved by hope and now that we are saved, through hope our faith is activated and we are able to focus on and see what shall be. One last scripture before we move on; turn to the Old Testament to the book of Habakkuk (one of the last books of the Old Testament).