Living With Hope!

Hebrews 11:1 – Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. NLT

Have you ever met Mr. or Mrs. Sour Puss Christian? They always see the world as the glass being half-empty. They live a hard life and from their perspective, misery is always around the next corner. All their life they have worked for God but it has never been enough. In their minds, God has never been pleased with them. What is wrong with this picture? They are living without hope. They see life as nothing but a struggle.

My greatest example of living a positive life is the life of the Apostle Paul. Paul was beaten, stoned and left for dead, jailed without cause and yet lived with peace, joy and love. What made him so strong? 2 Corinthians 12:2 – 4 – “I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.” NLT

I would imagine that if any of us had the experience of going to heaven and seeing what Paul saw, it would give us the same hope that we could handle any situation no matter how tragic. Doesn’t this example tell us that the closer we get to God and the more thoroughly we understand Scripture, the greater our faith will be and the more hope we will have? This is why Philippians 4:19 is so vital that every Christian should have it memorized. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” NLT

Does God keep His promises? Do we believe God will meet our needs? Does that verse apply to every believer or just some? I have been a Christian more than fifty years, and I know of no time that God has not met every need of our family plus more. There have been some wants that I have not received but needs—yes. Is it possible that some Christians have unrealistic expectations? Many do, and I will cover these expectations later.

We must remember that faith is not a desire that something may take place in the future. True faith is an absolute certainty, often of things that the world considers unreal and impossible. Man’s natural response is to trust his physical senses and put his faith in things he can see, hear, taste and feel. As Christians we must trust in something we may not be able to experience with our senses. Our faith must be such that we are willing to put up with life’s struggles or pain knowing that we shall receive our reward in the future. Earth is God’s laboratory where He is preparing us for our future!

So, how can Mr. or Mrs. Sour Puss prepare for the future if they are consumed with the difficulties of the day. If they only live for the present as the world lives then they cannot look ahead to what lies in their future. So, where do we stand today? Are we living for the present or living for eternity? If we want to please God and live with hope, then we need to live for eternity. It’s a God Thing!

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