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FIRST-PERSON: Hope for carrying on

EULESS, Texas (BP)–Our world right now stands at the brink of war. What will the uncertainties of life bring? Can we be confident in the future?

Americans desperately need answers to these questions. And, as Christians, we especially must ask how we will respond to such inquiries.

These questions are real; all of us desire a certain confidence about the future. Why is this true? Because hope for the future empowers us to live in the present.

There’s no better example of this than our own nation’s history. America itself was built on the hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. This hope has empowered Americans with a confidence that enabled us to walk through the evils of slavery, the pains of oppression, the struggles of economic depression and even the terrible trials of war.

What do you think would happen if America lost her hope in a better tomorrow? We likely would give in to fear and lose the strength to thrive.

We see the struggle with hope as we have weathered economic uncertainty in recent months. It seems like that’s all we hear about sometimes. But the trials that America has walked through before reaffirm the hope for the future that we all share.

As Christians, how do we relate to insecurities and fears about the future? I believe the Scriptures teach us that our future is secure regardless of circumstances. When Christians have confidence in the future, we are empowered to really live productively in the present.

How do we have confidence in the future? The Scriptures teach us the powerful and simple answer: faith. And from the Bible, we see that faith gives us the foundation for living in the present with hope for tomorrow.

That is exactly what the writer of Hebrews in the New Testament told the Hebrew believers who faced persecution, struggle and intimidation.

The writer wanted to encourage them in their faith. So, he told the believers their faith was the foundation for their confidence in the future. Hebrews 11:1-2 reads this way: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it, [that is, faith] the elders obtained a good testimony.”

I encourage you to observe the words in verse one: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” When he chose those words, “things hoped for,” the writer gave the concept of faith a future dimension. And when he chose the word “substance,” he described faith as a foundational element. Faith is a means of support, a foundation, and something that something else is built upon.

As Christians, we have a future hope, a celebration of eternal life with the Lord. As Christians, our faith in Christ and his work, our salvation and our future home all serve to give us confidence in our future regardless of what goes on in the present.

Where there is faith in the present, we can have confidence in the future. And when there is confidence in the future, we will have power to live in the present. For Christians, living out our hope in the present means demonstrating our faith.

And the heart of our faith is this: to share the good news of Christ’s love to the entire world. His love changed me. His love changed you. Christ’s love can change this world.
Claude Thomas is pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. For more of his LifePoints resources, visit www.discoverfirst.org.

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  • Claude Thomas