Friday, April 19, 2013

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

               People tell me, “Don’t get your hopes up.” My response, why not? Is not God able to do above and beyond all that we could ask or think? Is not faith hoping for something we cannot yet see? I do get my hopes up, I do hope for things that seem impossible to others. Last evening at our home fellowship, we talked about faith. I believe we make faith much harder than it has to be. God says to us, “Jump” and we say, “Well, what if…?” If God tells us to do it, should we not then just trust Him and do it? As I ponder the words of those who tell me, “Don’t get your hopes up.” I am reminded of a Psalm of David.
                “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5
                Hope and faith go hand in hand. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We do not hope for something that we can see, we hope for something that is not seen. We cannot see heaven, yet we hope for the day that we will see it and we will live with Him forever.

                Faith is not hard. Simple faith can move mountains, if we only believe in the God who says He can move them. I have seen firsthand the power of God in my life. He has moved mountains that seemed impossible. Even though there were those who told me not to get my hopes up, and those that told me that I might be disappointed if I keep hoping, but that’s what faith is. It is that constant and consistent hope in the One who is able to do above and beyond all that we can ask or think. (Eph. 3:20) Even Jesus tells us that “nothing is impossible with God.” (Matthew 19:26)
                David was telling his soul to hope in God. Even though he could not see the end, even though he could not see a way out, he knew the power and the mighty hand of God in his life. He had seen and experienced His love and grace, His forgiveness, His mercy, and His deliverance throughout his life. David did not have faith because of what he saw and how he felt. He had faith because of the evidence of God in his life.
                Sometimes, we make faith much harder than it is. Jesus tells us that a simple grain of a mustard seed can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) But, the question is, do we believe that? Faith is simple, we make it hard. Why do we make it hard? Because of fear, fear that if we do jump, that God will not be there on the other side. If we say we believe in the sovereignty of God on one hand, but do not jump on the other, are we not saying to God “I don’t believe in You completely?” Faith knows that God is Sovereign. That He is always, always in control of your life. He knows the path you are going to take even before you take it. He knows the thoughts and the intents of your heart, even before you do.
                Faith believes in His control and predestined plan for your life. We sit and we pray and we ponder about which direction to take in our lives, when all the time God is saying to us, “Just Jump”. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Faith trusts that no matter what direction you take God has already laid the path before you. No matter what path you take, God is there. We wonder and pray about God’s will for our lives, and we get stuck sitting on a stump instead of walking in faith and trusting that no matter what path we take, God already knew we were going to take it and He has already worked it all out for our good. (Romans 8:28)

                I think (my opinion) is that we use the excuse of “not knowing God’s will” to stay in the safe, comfortable box we have created for ourselves. Instead of stepping out in faith, and doing the radical that God is calling us to, we stay in our safe little worlds, we sing and pray, and give thanks to God on a Sunday, but are unwilling to follow His all-knowing, all-seeing, paths for our daily lives.
                Change in our lives cannot happen without faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and without faith it is impossible to please God, (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is what propels us to the throne of God; faith is what guides us to His will for our lives. If you want to know what God’s will for your life is, read your bible. God’s will has already been laid out before us, everyday in His word. All we have to do is trust Him and walk in it. Faith can move mountains. I have seen God do some amazing and mighty works in my life, and in the lives of others, all as a result of believing when everyone else said, “no way.”

                So, I want to encourage you to get your hopes up! Hope in God, for He is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think. Faith is going to take you higher than you have ever soared before. But you have to put faith to work, otherwise, it is useless. It takes faith to trust God with your salvation, and it takes faith to believe God for the impossible. Faith is simple, we make it hard.