August 22, 2022 – Reflections on “Faith is Assurance of Hope!”

       Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.

         “I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in Heaven!” This is the saying on the heart locket I received from a dear friend.

Faith, Assurance, and Hope are wrapped together in a Ribbon of Love. Without Faith, there is no Assurance, and with no Assurance, there is no Hope.

     Who brings these three spirit-filled things we cannot see together? The Love that only God provides to those who seek Him and humbly trust in Him.

        Assurance is knowing that God’s Word stands for an eternity. Where does this assurance come from? Faith in our Lord Jesus–gives us Hope for an Eternity.

        The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this, He has given assurance to ALL by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31.

        Without faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have no assurance. He is the One who died on the cross and was raised from the dead in three days. What is the bottom line of Crucifixion and Resurrection from the dead? Love. This is why our God created the heavens and the earth and He created man and woman after His spiritual image. We love because He first loved us. I John 4:19.

        When I received the golden heart, I was touched, and then, because of listening to the sermon yesterday, suddenly I realized another facet of the meaning of this gift. Suddenly I could hear God’s voice. I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1.

        These words describe God’s purpose in Creation, the Death on the cross, and the Resurrection. God prepared a way for us to live with Him for an eternity. Each day we live, we make choices on how to live, our actions and the words and intent of the words we say.

        And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12.

          So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13. We cannot live without Hope that comes from Faith. But the greatest is LOVE. A loving heart is a motivation for the Joy of Living in Faith with the endless joy of Hope.

         The extraordinary gift from my husband weeks before he succumbed to dementia in the nursing home was prefaced by a question. “Do you have everything you need?” I replied, “Yes, thank you for asking.” I considered all the help he had given me over our sixty-six years of marriage and his inabilities now. He could not walk or see or feed himself. He continued, “I always wanted to take care of you!”

        I’ve often thought of those words and realize of all the ways God takes care of us, even before we are born, by choosing us, loving us, guiding and leading us. I remembered these lyrics–If that isn’t love, then the ocean is dry. There’s no stars in the sky, and the little sparrows can’t fly–if that isn’t love. (Dottie Rambo.)

          Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2.

           Faith, Peace, Grace, Rejoicing and Hope, with the Glory of God, transform our world. These words describe how God changes the world we live in. We have a purpose beyond this world we live in. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Ephesians 2:18-19.

         Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to Him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully on the strings with loud shouts. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Psalm 33:1-5.

            Faith is believing in truth and love as our every-day strength. Having Hope, gives us the courage to never give up. Romans 8:28 teaches us, And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. 

          For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10.

           Our first response is an excuse. I have no talents, or I don’t know how, or I’m too old. After I fell, and received rehabilitation exercises, I felt useless. Then I found a lifeline in I Corinthians 10:31. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I told my therapist while holding onto parallel bars that all I could do was exercise, but I could give glory to God in doing the exercises.

         Will God forget us? No. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:16. God must have large hands to write His Children’s names of all those who have lived from the beginning. How often we forget to praise God for His creation that surrounds us and His Goodness.

            Part of Faith, Assurance, and Hope is being thankful and praising God. Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:17-18.

            God’s Creation stands. An old hymn proclaims: This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.