My friends, today I want to share a teaching with you that a friend of this ministry shared with me. Thank you, Travis, for this in-depth study on hope and faith. Friends, I believe this teaching will bless you – and it is a teaching, not a writing. Study it, meditate on it and let it get deep within your heart – it will cause faith to arise as you put action with your hope…also, this is a long teaching so I have broken it down into two days…enjoy! Kim Potter

Hope is a precursor to faith, meaning it comes before faith and directly influences faith’s development. Or put another way, hope is the seed in which our faith germinates and actively grows from. Hope and faith are very similar as they share a common bond but there is a slight yet very discernible difference in the two. You see, hope is defined as an assured expectation and belief of something good or desirable coming to fruition. And while faith shares hope’s confident trust and belief in something good yet to come, faith adds to it an element of active participation. Faith takes hope and begins to work with it.

What is the benefit, my fellow believers, if someone claims to have faith but has no good works as evidence? Can that kind of faith save him? No, a mere claim of faith is not sufficient—genuine faith produces good works. James 2:14

So too, faith, if it does not have works to back it up, is by itself dead inoperative and ineffective. James 2:17, Amp

Now we can take that last verse in James 2:17 and state it back using the life cycle of hope and faith.

Hope, if it is not acted upon in faith will eventually wither and die because hope can not actively nurture and sustain itself.

However, hope that is acted upon by faith thrives and flourishes. You see faith actively participates WITH God and His PROMISES (His promise is our hope). Faith’s activeness is evident in our behaviors and actions (our works) as we pursue God’s promises in our lives. Let’s take a look at the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 and examine how God’s people actively participate in the hope He plants in them.

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. Heb 11:7-8 NASB

God told Noah He was going to destroy all flesh and then made a promise to Noah (planted a seed of hope) that He would preserve Noah and his family. Fueled by the hope of salvation that God had planted in him, Noah by faith began partnering with God in His promise as he started building the Ark as instructed.

And in Genesis 12 Abraham receives a GREAT promise from God that fills him with hope. Gen.12:1-3

Now Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

That hope that God planted in Abraham through His promise sparked the faith that caused Abraham to pack up all he had and leave the security of the family he had been with his entire life.

By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore, there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. Heb 11:11-12

In Genesis 18 Abraham and Sarah receive the promise that they will have a child together within a year. It seemed such an absurd promise based on their advanced age that Sarah laughed at the notion when she heard it. And although she scoffed at the logic of the promise at first, that interaction with God and His promise gave her hope for something she had longed for in her life… a child that she and Abraham birthed together. And in faith she gave herself in relations to her husband in an effort to conceive. Now I’d like to point out the practicality of her action here. Absolutely, it was a miracle that she conceived at such an old age, but that miracle still required a natural action of faith on her part. This wasn’t an immaculate conception like with Mary and Jesus. Often when we consider miraculous promises, we have a tendency to reason away the need for our faith filled action by thinking that since it’s a miracle and God will do ALL the work and make ALL the provision. But as I said, faith is PARTNERING WITH God not just believing His promises. Believing is Hope but faith is action.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned. Heb 11:23-29

There’s a great deal of hope leading to faith filled actions for us to extract here in verses 23-29 of Hebrews 11. So, let’s start with Moses’ parents. It states that they saw he was a beautiful child and were not afraid of the King’s edict. The term beautiful here means, favored by God, as we see evidenced in Acts 7:20

It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home.

When his parents saw that their child Moses was favored by God, it planted the hope needed to act in faith and keep him in their home for 3 months, which could’ve cost them all of their lives if he was found. Then when they could no longer hide him the hope of God’s favor over Moses gave his parents the faith to place him in a basket by the reeds of the Nile for Pharaoh’s daughter to find.

Then later at the age of 40 after being raised in the ways, and wisdom of Egypt, God planted a hope in Moses’ heart of being reunited with his fellow Israelites which we read in Acts 7:23-24

But when he reached the age of forty, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unfairly, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking and killing the Egyptian.

Encouraged by the hope of returning to his roots, Moses acted in faith when he defended his kinsman by killing the Egyptian that was oppressing him. This was a choice to abandon his place in Egyptian culture for his heritage as one of God’s people. (I love what Travis says here… encourage by hope – Moses acted.)

This leads us to the verse that Moses by faith left Egypt without fear of Pharaoh’s wrath. Now, I believe this referenced when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt which was the second time he left Egypt, and not when he originally fled Egypt after he learned that people were aware of how he had killed the Egyptian. I believe this because in Exodus 2:14-15 we read the following.

But the man said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Certainly this incident is known.” When Pharaoh heard about this matter, he tried to kill Moses. Then Moses fled from Pharaoh’s presence and took refuge in the land of Midian, where he sat down by a well.

Of course, he’d flee in fear if his life was threatened. So, I don’t think his original flight from Egypt is what is referenced in Hebrews 11:27, and secondly it said, “he left Egypt not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen”. Now before Moses left Egypt the second time and led the Israelites out, He had been in the presence of God, seeing Him who is unseen. You see, it was the hope of God’s promise on that mountain eradicated the fear of man (even a king) and encouraged him by faith to leave Egypt. (The hope of God eradicated fear – another great statement)

But of course, before Moses led God’s people out of Egypt there was still the last plague to work through. The plague where God told Moses He would strike down every firstborn of man and beast in the land, but that Gods people would be spared if they covered their doorposts with the blood from their Passover lambs. So, with the hope of salvation promised by God Moses and the people acted in faith as they covered their doorposts in the blood.

To conclude the exodus from Egypt and this great account of hope that birthed tremendous faith, God gave the promise that He would obliterate the Egyptians that pursued the children of Israel as He has Moses command them to walk through the sea He parted. And by faith they walked with the Lord through the sea as instructed.

(This teaching will be continued in tomorrow’s writing, due to its length)

 


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