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The Substance of Things Hoped For

Devotion for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hebrews 11:1, “the substance of things hoped for.”

This week we will be looking at the concept of hope. First, let’s take a quick look at the definition of hope. Of course, biblical hope is not the same as our English understanding of hope. When we say we hope to do something in English, we are speaking in terms of a wishful circumstance. Therefore, hope in our modern understanding is conditioned on certain circumstances to take place. Thus, we are all “hopeful” that this coronavirus will end soon and we will get back to normal. However, this hope has continually disappointed us in 2020.

The biblical understanding of hope is quite different. Instead of a conditional concept, the bible shares with us a hope that is assured. When you read the word “hope” in the Bible (especially the New Testament), I encourage you to think of the word, “assurance.”

We can understand hope in the Bible as assurance because of the basis of that hope. While Hebrews 11 has often been called the “faith” chapter, the first verse also points to hope. The writer of the book of Hebrews defines faith in this way, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” (11:1) As we see in this verse, faith and hope are irrevocably linked, going hand in hand.

In other words, faith is the stuff that hope is made of! In order for us to grasp hope, we must stand in our faith. It is our faith that drives the reality and assurance of hope. Faith in what? Faith in the gospel of Jesus. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says in the preceding chapter in verse 23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Here we see another verse that juxtaposes faith and hope, hand in hand, providing the assurance that we need in our walk with the Lord.

The bottom line is that we can have a true, unconditional hope that is guaranteed to come true in our lives, because of the faithful promise of Jesus the Messiah. Hebrews 10:23 teaches us to HOLD FAST the confession. That is what faith is. In a world of uncertainty, death, despair, and hopelessness, believers have a truth on which to grasp, to rely, to live. It is a unified, communal confession, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. We place our lives in the hands of the Messiah with hope – BECAUSE HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL. Great is they faithfulness! (Lam. 3:23)

Our hope is made up of the faith that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He came to this world, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, ascended to the Father, and is coming again one day. Our hope is made up of the faith in the promise of Jesus, who said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3) And always remember, He who promised is faithful! Therefore, live in a blessed assurance!

Joshua Moore

Pastor, Sharon First Baptist Church

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