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Living by Faith (Vol 02) - Hope: Starting point of Faith - Part 2

Sunday English Service - 15 JUL 18

Transcript

Please turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11. One week ago we began a new series called living by faith.And we're going to base this series onHebrews chapter 11. There is so much that can be said about faith and I've taught already a lot about faith.But this time we're going to base it on Hebrews chapter 11 in that particular context,and use Hebrews 11 as a launching padfor our teaching because this chapter explains faith first in the few verses,and then illustrates faith by referring to so manypeople who live by faith and became heroes of faith.So there is a description as well as illustration here, many illustrations of faith.So we're going to use it as a launching pad, we'll go in many directions.You know what a launching pad is. AFT is a launching pad.From here we speak and preach the gospel to the whole world. People from very unusual countries are hearing the gospel today, because we're preaching here.We're not just preaching to people here but we're preaching to people from all kinds of places andthat is wonderful. From here we use it as a launching pad and go everywhere. So Hebrews 11 is going to be launching pad, we're going to go to various things in the Bibleto explain what Hebrews 11 is talking about. So we learn a lot in that way.

Hebrews is an epistle that was written in the first century for people who came from a Jewish background and became Christians and because of that they were particularly persecuted by the Jews, mostly the Jews, taunting them about how they have left a wonderful glorious religion, the Jewish religion, with Abraham as theirforefather and Moses as their great leader, and all the experiences of wonderful miracles and so many wonderful mighty works of God happening in their lives.The call of God, the covenant of God that God had given to them.They felt very special because God has given them the TenCommandments which no other nation in the world received.So they said,“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” they told the Christians,“that you left this glorious religion and went following after thisJesus Christ who claims to be the Son of God but died in shame on the cross almost naked. Completelyidentified with sinners and you're going to follow Him andHe died the worst death like a cursed man, He died and you're going to follow Him and call Him Lord, leaving this grand old religion, with all the temple that sacrifices, the feasts and the festivals, the grandeur and all these things that we've enjoyed and had and experienced so long, you going to leave all these and go into this.There is nothing in yourfaith and in your believing. There is everything in our religion,” they said.

So the author is writing to show the difference between the old and the new covenant. He is going in great detail to show that the new covenant which has now come through Jesus Christ is the better covenant with better promises, better in every way than they already have.Nothing to be ashamed about.That this is better than that. So he begins talking about Jesus is better than angels, better than Moses, better than Joshua, better than Aaron. Talks about the high priest of our times is greater than the high priest of the Old Testament times.He dies, but our high priest is one who died and rose again, but will never die. The Old Testament high priest only took the blood into the Holy of holies in a temple in Jerusalem, but our high priest has taken His own blood, not the blood of bulls and goats, we have the blood of Jesus, the Son of God.He has taken His own blood and entered the Holy of holies in the very presence of God in heavenwhich is better results. So this is the whole thing that is going on in the background.And so he's trying to encourage people who are shaken in their faith,to continue to follow Christ and to continue to live for God.And so at the end of the 10th chapter, he says, “We are not of those who draw back to perdition.” That means we don't backslide and perish. “But we are those who believe to the saving of the soul.”We’re the believing kind, not the forsaking kind.“Don't forsake the faith, continue,” he says.You're the believing kind.

And now then, after having said that, in the last verse in the 10th chapter in chapter 11he begins to explain what faith is, what believing is, what believing means. Therefore, he begins like this in verse 1. Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Now we're going to once again look at this verse.Last week we looked at it. I pointed out to you that faith is a substance.Substance is very old and hard word, and I will explain it later on. But that word is translated as assurancein so many other translations, sometimes as confidence and so on. So if you think of it, it will be easier to understand faith is the assurance or the confidence of things that we hope for. So in order to really live by faith, you got to understand what hope is, because what is faith? Faith is based on hope. Faith is the assurance of things that we hope for.So first we got to understand hope, and begin with hope. Hope is the starting point of faith. That's what I began to talk about last week. Hope is the starting point of faith. That's where faith begins. If you see hope in a person, that meansthat person is now going to live by faith. And I showed you last week few things. One is I showed you from Romans chapter 15 verse 4 that the Old Testament scripture Paul says there in that verse, Old Testament scriptures are given to us so thatitmay give us hope.When we read the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph in Israel, and all that… their experiences with God and how God dealt with them, the goodness of God to them, hebelieves that we will have hope, that God is with us, and that everything will be alright.That God will do what He has promised. That is the purpose for which Old Testament is written, if that is so and if Paul read the Old Testament like that, I believe we should also read Old Testament like that, to receive hope. “The source of hope is the Bible, the Word of God,” he says. This is where hope comes from.

Just like faith, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.Hope is no different. That is why hope and faith that very much alikebut not exactly the same, but they're very much alike. And I would say that hope is the starting point of faith. It begins with hope. And hope comes when you begin to look at the Word of God, begin to see what God is like, the nature of God, thecharacter of God, who God is and how good He is, how dependable He is, how unchanging He is,what a promise keeping God Heis, when you experience God through all these things that have happened to our forefathers who’ve gone before us, you begin to have hope. You begin to say, “Wow, this God can never go wrong. This God can really help me.This God is a true God. This God is a God who loves me.” “That is how you receive hope,”he says.And then I showed you, we looked into a very beginning definition of faith. I'm going to work on it a little more today. The definition of faith we saw last week was this.That faith is a vision that we have for the things that we desire to happen to us in the future. Faith is a visionthat we have for the good things to come, in other words.That's the way I put it. Faith is the vision that we have or the desire that we have of the good things to come.

And then I showed you from Jeremiah chapter 30 to 33, those four chapters are very important. I showed you because the whole book of Jeremiah is talking abouthow the people of Israel are going to go through a rough time.Already Babylonian army has surrounded them, and they are in starvation literally. And they're going to take over the city, destroy the city, burn up everything and take a lot of people as captives to Babylon. And the prophet is saying that they're going to be there 70 years.Bad news.The king himself doesn't like it.So the king locks up the prophet, very conveniently, because he doesn't like his prophecy.Which king would like it?70 years exile? No, nothing doing, because there are other prophets who if you pay them enough, they're ready to prophesy and sayonly two years.Reduce the sentence a little bit. There are prophets that said, “Only twoyears and everything will be alright. Only two years of trouble.” Jeremiah says, “No, no, no. 70 years, your city is going to be destroyed, you’re going to lose your land, house, everything. You’re going to go as a slave to this other land and so on.” But in 30 to 33, those four chapters, in the midst of all the turmoil, in the midst of this life threatening situation that is there,and the whole future is threatened, the future of the people of Israel, right there are four chapters of hope. Because in those four chapters, he speaks about the coming days.How 70 years later God is going to bring them back.

And I told you, those are very special.You got to read them when you have time. It's very interesting because that is where most preachers go to if they want a nice verse to preach from.Very comforting verse to preach from.Because those four chapters are very special, they've beautifulverses, about how God is going to bless them when they come back and He's going to bring them back and so on. At one point, He says, “I'm going to bless them in such a way that all others will see and be afraid because I'm going to bless them in a shocking astonishing manner.”That's the thing that God says there. So I read some of those passages to you, they’re samples, just to show you what hope can do in the midst of your situations. When everything looks bad, and everything looks bleak,what hope can do from God's word. When God speaks into the situation and gives you hope, what hope can do.Now many of us may be in some situation like that, in disturbing times and in very difficult situations, we may be caught in so much of mess in this world. And you wonder whether you're going to ever have a chance to come out of this and be free from this and live a lifeand enjoy any kind of happiness. And I'm telling you that the Bible is a book of hope. God speaks to these people and He tells them, assures them, that he has not forgotten them, He's going to bring them back, He’s going to bless them in an astonishing way.

Gave you samples of what hope can do and words of hope can do, how hope works.It's all based on God, His promise and how good God is.Therefore, those words must have really provided some kind of comfort for the people. Now, today, I want to expand on that and work on the definition little more and then I want to show you how hope is a starting point and that is what grows into faith. These are the two things I want to show you today. First, the definition.We need to work on the definition.We said it's a vision that we havefor good things to come in the future. That's a pretty good definition. But there is something terribly missing in the definition. It’s not complete. It is true, but it's not complete.Even you canask a little child also maybe 10 year old kid, what is hope? And I think even little kids will say, “Well, when you’re really looking forward to something.Like daddy said he's going to go get me ice cream.”You really want it, you really hope to get it. That's what hope is, when you really want somethingand you hope that you will get it.Well, that is correct but there is something missing in it. What is missing in it? The thing that is missing in it is when you say,“I hope,” in those words itself is built in a certain uncertainty. When you say,“I hope it doesn't rain,”that simply means it could rain. You're hoping that it will not rain, but it might very well rain. There is a possibility of rain. That's why you're saying,“I'm hoping that it won't rain.”When saying,“I hope I'll get a salary raise,” inbuilt into that hope, the word hope, because you're wording using the word hope, it naturally implies that maybe you won't get it. When you say,“I hope I get that job,” built into thatis this doubtabout whether you will be able to get it or not.You say,“I hope I get married to that girl or that boy,” people hope a lot of things. And when you hope you're really saying,“I'm not certain. I'm just hoping I'll get it. I'm not very sure. I hope that will happen. Because I would like it to happen. I hope it'll happen. But I'm not sure it will happen.” The thing that that you're not sure of isevident in the usage of the word hope itself. It's right there when you say hope.

But when you go to a biblical definition of hope,it is totally different. And the thing that makes the difference is one word. One word makes it different. You add one more word to the common definition of hope, which is what we gave first, you add one more word, it becomes the biblical hope. What is that one more word?Instead of an expectation for the good things to come, you just say, it is a confident expectation. That's hope from the Bible. When the Bible speaks about hope it is not talking about some expectation, it is not an ordinary expectation, it is not that you wish it will happen, it's not a nail biting, crossing your fingers… People say,“Keep your fingers crossed. After all, you may get that promotion.” Well, you're keeping my fingers crossed until your fingers break and youget all tensed up because you don't know whether you're going to get it or not. All tensed up, keep your fingers crossed that’s tough, because that means you don't know you're going to… you're not certain. There is an uncertainty in it. That's why you’re keep your fingers crossed. Nail biting. You see some people,they get busy biting their nailsbecause they're all tensed up. They're hoping for something, butthey're really doubting and there is a possibility that it won’t happen.What they're hoping may not come through. That's the problem.But according to the Bible, and I will go to the verses and show you how it is a confident expectation but let me just put it forward first. What makes Bible hope what it is, so special is that it is a confident expectation.Confidence is what makes it so special. That is why many translators translate Hebrews 11:1 in this way. Faith is the confidence of the things hoped for.Our faith is the assurance of things hoped for. I’ll show it to you in the Bible. I'll take you to the scriptures and show you howit is, you're hoping for something, but if you're confident of what you're hoping for, that confidence in hope, that it reaches its full maturity and full stage, that is what faith is all about. What faith is,faith is the confidenceof the things that you hope for.What is faith? Faith is the assurance, the full assurance, the certainty of the things that you hope for.

Let’s talk about this certainty?Now,the kind of certainty that we talk about, people don't sometimes understand.You see, atheists usually say, “Prove to me that there is a God.” What they're saying is,“Prove to me by a mathematical certaintythat there is God, scientific certainty that there is a God, logical certainty there is a God. Prove to me that there is a God.” But the thing is, I always tell these fellows, how come when it comes to God you want scientific certainty, mathematical certainty, like two plus two is four. Prove to me like that? Can you prove it to me that God is there. Mathematical certainty is that, two plus two is four.It doesn't change.It is a natural law.It does not change.Whatever the weather is, whatever you feel like, two plus two does not change. It stays the same.Same way, logical certainty. Logical certainty works something like this,all men die.This man even though he is so great, and should live forever, he will also die because all men die. What you're doing is you're deducing logically. You're coming to a logical conclusion, because all men die this man even though he is so great and he deserves to live forever, he must die because all men die. That's a logical certainty.That’s sure.Nobody's going to say,“No, no. He’s exempt.” Sure. What is moral certainty? See, moral certainty is what we live by daily. A lot of people don't realize that.Moralcertainty is a different kindof certainty. The word moral has to do with the right and wrong, and we are moral creatures, moral beings.We’re created in the image and likeness of God,we are very much aware and knowledgeable about what is right and what is wrong.And we know that just like God is good, we must be good.We are creatures, who ought to behave morally upright. So wearemoralbeings, moral creatures knowing right and wrong, and we have a will,and our will is shaped by that moral nature that we have.So the moral certainty works in this way.It's based on the will. It's based on what I believe who I am in my heart, in my mind, in my nature, who I am.What I am on the inside. That's what it's based on.

Let me give you an illustration, you will find it easy to understand. If someone says, for example, “I've been married to my wife,” he says, “for 20 years, and I can tell you for sure, certain today that we're going to stay married until we die.” Now, where did he get that certainty from? Did somebody give a mathematical calculation that his marriage will last until they die? Is that how he arrived on that certainty that he is going to live in that marriage till he dies? It is not through a mathematical certainty that hegot that. No,certainly it’s not through logical certainty. If you look at logical certainty you will not even marry. What is logical certainty?Apply the same example to marriage about logical certainty. I told you about death, about marriage. You can't say, “Everybody gets married, and they're all happy therefore, if I get married, I will be happy.” That'll be the farthest from the truth. You can agree with that.Already you are laughing. Everybody gets married, and they're all happy. Therefore, it must be that when I get married, Iwill be happy. Who told you so?One girl told me actually, just four days before her marriage, her parents were very concerned.They brought her to me and said, “Please talk to her because she says she works in a call center and she doesn't want marriage, she wants to cancel the marriage.” I said, “Why?” “Because everybody says that they're not happy,” in a call center that she works in, she knows so many people, and they all say that they're all unhappy and thereforelogically, logical conclusion, certainty is this,“That I'm going to enter in and buy trouble paying money.” That's what it's going to amount to.Marriage is just unnecessarily getting into some trouble. Everybody's unhappy. How do you expect me to be happy? So please cancel it.So if you go logically, you won't even marry. Then why did you marry?Who gave you any kind of mathematical certainty or who gave you any kind of logical certainty that this is going to work? By what calculation do you get married in this world and have expectations about your marriage and life and family and so on in this world?How?

There is another kind of certainty that we live by all the time, we don't even realize that and that is what is called moral certainty. What is moral certainty? When this man says, “20 years we've been married, I believe that we’ll be married till we die. Only death shall separate us.” Where did he get that certainty from? He got thatas a moral certainty, not a mathematical certainty, orlogical certainty, moral certainty. Where does moral certainty originate from, he's a child of God.He knows God, he knows God's will. He knows God's mind and God's nature. That marriage comes from the very mind and plan and purpose of God. He has read the Bible, he knows what the Bible says about marriage. People came to Jesus asking questions about divorce.You find that in Mark chapter 10, they wanted to justify divorce and so they said, “What about divorce?” So this is the answer Jesus gives. He said, “From the beginning of creation.” This is Jesus's words. I'm quoting from Mark's gospel chapter 10 verse 6 to 9. You don’t have to look at it, just listen because we’re just going to go through it. “From thebeginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female.’”That is man, male and female.What is He saying? He’s saying, “Hey, you're asking a question about whether divorce is right or not. Let me first remind you that marriage came from God. God designed marriage for man and man for marriage.That is why when He created man, He did not create him as just male or just female, He created them as male andfemale.”

So from the beginning of creation, God reveals His will.This is how Jesus interprets the Bible. It’s a revelation of God.If you asked me whether divorce is right, I'll tell you from the beginning of creation God has ordained marriage. It came from the mind and the plan and purpose of God for mankind.He made them male and female and then He says, next,“Therefore shall a man…” that verse, He created male and female, comes from Genesis chapter 1 verse 27, He is actually quoting from the Old Testament.That's veryinteresting. Second verse also, He’s quoting. He says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, they shall not be two but they shall be one flesh.” This is also a quotation, but from chapter 2 of Genesis. He is referring back to the creation.So He says, “They shall be one, not two.A man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, they shall be one.” So what isHe saying? He’s saying, “Well,because marriage is ordained of God, therefore, a man cleaves tohis wife.” I mean, when a man gets married, him and his wife become a unit, a family, together.All right?That's what he's talking about.They become one and then He says one more thing in verse 9 and that is not a quotation. The first two things are quotations from the Old TestamentGenesis one and Genesis two. Now, He says, “Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Now, this is a wonderful way to learn how to conclude things from the Bible. He says, “God created man and woman for marriage, designed them for marriage, and designed marriage for them,therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife,and nobody can separate because God has joined together, only cleavingshould be done, but no separationshould be done.”

This is the answer He gives them to the question about divorce. This is the answerHe says. The third one is the conclusion He draws from that.Soa believer goes through all of this. This is how we read the Bible. We see the mind of God, we see the will of God, we see the purposes of God for marriage. We know.Some people…they're not used to the Bible and interpreting the Bible but that is one of the things that we have to learn how to look at the Bible and understand what the Bible says. We can't just be looking at the Bible and being confused. Some people come and say, “Well, under Moses, they did have divorce brother.”But read it properly hesays, “Because of the hardness of your heart, Moses said, at least give a paper, divorce paper, and send her away,” because they were sending her away without any papers.This guy is conveniently leaving her and going getting married and she can’t go anywhereand do anything. Legally, she's still attached to this guy. So because of the hardness of your heart, because this could not be avoided because of man’s sin and man's problems, selfishness, and all of these things come in, at least do some justice in the midst of all this wrong that is happening. That is how the Bible says. Bible is not justifying divorce under Moses.

Now, this is the way the Bible teaches. So when a man readsthe Bible, he understands what it is.He understands the mind and the plan and purpose of God, from that, he understands the nature of God, that God is true, God is good, God is just, He does the right thing and this is the right thing. And thereforethat becomes a part of his belief, and then becomes part of his will. He’s already made in the image and likeness of God but now he thinks like God, approaches everything with God's perspective and his will is conditioned to the plan and purpose of God and God's will.His will is aligned with God's will. From that,see, he has lived like that 20 years with his wife and his wife has lived with him for 20 years also.They know this thing from the Bible. They have the nature of God, they know the mind of God. They know what the Bible says, they follow that and they live by that and they are true to that, they're true Christians,and therefore he has a moral certainty.He's got a certainty.No doubt.He speaks surely. He says, “Untilwe die we will not separate, we’ll live together.”That is moral certainty.Now, because he has lived 20 years, gone through a lot of situations, proven himself, he believes, “Yeah, we have experienced God's grace, God has been goodand we’ll continue till the end.” But you know, I've seen in some countries people live for 50 years together, then divorce. Something happens right at the end, I think.Everything goes wrong and they go crazy. Say,“Alright, I'm going to divorce and I'm going to go my way,” both men and women they do that sometimes. And I've seen thatso many times.

Why I'm saying that, when human beings are involved, there is always some level of uncertainty because human beings change, even though 20 years you've had a good life it's no guarantee really that next 20 years are going to begood. But there issuch a thing called moral certainty. There is such a thing called moral certainty and therefore, that man could say, “Yeah, until death do us part,we will live together” because of moral certaintyspeaking, and because of moral certainty only he got married in the first place, and said, until death do us part whenhe married.But because human beings are human beings sometimes even there, it fails sometimes. But we are talking about God and hope coming from God's word.And I tell you something, people change, everything changes but God never changes. God, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Mountains may be removed but He is the same.Everything may be changed, but He is the same. And He is good, He is just, He is true. Because He is just, good and true and God who is love… love, truth and justice is the three most important parts of God's nature.

Because He is in essence love, in essence truth, in essence just,therefore, He can never leave us, never forsake us.  Because He says in His word that He'll never leave us nor forsake us. His word is true, whatever He has promised we can completely bank on.We can put our hope on.Because of His nature, because of who He is.His promises can mean a lot to us. With moral certainty we can say certain things. So faith and hope operates on the basis of this moral certainty that we know God. We know God.You want mathematical certainty. That's not possible.These guys that want mathematical certainty, they don't want it when it comes to marriage. Do you get married because of mathematical certainty, or logical certainty? No. But only when it comes to God, they conveniently ask for it because they don't want to believe in God, because they got to quit all that nonsense and get right.Sothere is moral certainty. This is what we call moral certainty.When God speaks His word, I can believe it,nothing is going to change it. That's why Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but My word will not pass away.”We can bank on it, we can put our trust in it, we can build our hope in it. If you have no hope today,hope is like an anchor. If you have no hope today, if you have nothing to hope for and I say to you, get a hold of God's word. Get a hold of some promise from God's word for your situation. Whatever your situation maybe get a hold of what God says about you and your life and your situation. Get a hold of God's promises. And I say to you, if you get a hold of God's promises, your life of faith begins there because it begins with hope. If you don't have any money that's all right, but if you don't have any hope that's a problem because you don't have a starting point.

Some people think money is the starting point. They say, “Well, brother, if I had like 50 lakhs, I can make it work.” No,you got to start with hope. Hope is the starting point. If you're hopeless you're in the right place, because we’re going into the word of God. We're going to show you how to have hope in the midst of hopelessness. How hope is like the rope that is thrown to a man who sinking in the quicksand.Better take a hold of itbecause that's your last chance.Otherwise, you'll sink.Take a hold of it, have hope.You can have hope in God's word. It's not man's word. It gives certainty. It gives certainty.Let me put a negative example here. Let me turn it around. Suppose I say to you todaythatall atheists will become believers by the end of the year.And it may be that divorce courts will be closed because there will be no divorces, everybody will be having happy marriages.And we all don't have to lock our houses because all thieves will become Christians.See already you're laughing.You're saying, “Come on now?Is this going to happen?” See that certainty?This is put in the other way.Look at the certainty.You are sure it won't happen. Why? Because of the nature of things.It just can't happen in a world of sin like this. It just can't be true. It just cannot come to pass. This is just a dreamer dreaming. It is never going to come to pass. AfterI told you the first item itself, you feel like you're laughing. Is this going to happen? It's just impossible. It cannot happen. Why? Because of the nature of things in this fallen world. It is impossible, right?

In the same way with God it's the nature of who He is. That makes hope so special, hope so wonderful, hope something that I can hold on to, hope will give me a new future, lift me from where I am, and take me to where I need to be. God uses hope. God needs your cooperation, my cooperation.He has given you ears, Hehas given you a mind, He has given you the ability to think,He has given you an ability to know right and wrong, He has given you an ability to choose, He has given you an ability to will. Very special ability. God has honored human beings with His very image and likeness,so that I can sit here today and hear, read God's word, know things and have thoughts and choose what I must choose and knowwhat isright and wronginwardly.Just know what is right and wrong.What an amazing thing that God has given to us. Yet some people say, “Well, brother,why is all these bad things happening to me? Nothing good is happening to me. You tell me, God must be doing that.” I say, “What have you done? You're not doing anything. You're not even thinking. When you come back from work you're just sitting before the TV and watching TV till you go to sleepand eat watching TV and just go to sleep. You have no time to even think.And you don't choose anything for yourself. You don'tdecide anything. If you got a problem you don't decide what the problem is and you don't decide on a solution for the problem. You don't decide how to act. Youdon't decide what to do. You don’t do nothing. You don't use anything. You don't decide to go to the word of God and look for answers. You don't decide to search the word of God for the mind of God, the plan of God and the purpose of God and the will of God, so that you can act according to the will of...”

See, God has made us human beings, which is the highest thing with ears, with thoughts, with mind, with heart, with an ability to have a willand do what we will.And with all that some people expect that God will do everything. I'll just keep quiet. If God wants, let this work. Well,I'm telling you, if you have that approach to life, then you will find, I can guarantee, you can wait for the next thousand years, you’re going to be at the same place.But if you say God has made me in His image and likeness, He has given me a heart and a mind and ability to think and decide and choose and analyze.And I must know what the will of God is for me, and I must pursue this with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, with all my strength, I must do the will of God, and stand for it. If you decide to do that I'll tell you,entire Heaven will back you up and God will make it work for you. So God needsour cooperation. It begins with hope. Hope means you can only throw the rope to the guy who's sinking. If he says, “What can a rope do to me, brother?I'm already sunk neck deep. What cana rope do to me?” What can you answer a guy like that? By the time you answer he is gone further down.Take a hold. It’s a time to take a holdof God's Word. Catch a hold of God's Word. Get ahold of God's promises. Get ahold of the vision that God has for your future. Get a hold of the idea of how God wants your life.What is God's will for your life?Does God want you to be like this? Does God want your life to be in chaos, in a mess?Or does God want it to be a beautiful life, a wonderful life?Just think whatGod will be able to do if you allow Him to come in and work and help, how beautiful that life will become.

It is up to you and it begins with hope. God doesn't do everything. He needs your cooperation. He begins with hope and hope begins with the promises of God's word and you looking at the promises and taking hold of the promises. Amen? So the certainty of hope is what we're talking about.It's a certainty that is rooted in the character of the revealed will of God.So my hope is based on the revealed will of God. I know what God wants.I know what God wants for my family. I know what God wants for my life.Revealed will of God. And I'm preaching today to you because I know what God wants for your life.Where do I know that? I know it from God's Word? How do I know it? Well, I read the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the people of Israel. I read the Old Testament and the New Testament and it reveals to me the will of God for human beings. Your happiness is the will of God. Your wellbeing is the will of God. Your health is the will of God, your success is the will of God. Your peace is the will of God. Itis rooted, our certainty.Hope is certainty.  That's what we're talking about. Hope is being sure.Some translations in Hebrews 11 use that. Surety they say.Hope is a certainty, hope is the confidence, hope is the assurance.So many translations are there.

So hope is a certainty that is rooted in the character of the revealed will of God, manifested in and through Jesus Christ, and witnessed in the scripturesthrough ages from the beginning until now.Witnessed in the scriptures and written in the scriptures.All these things are written so that we can read the witness of the scripture and see, yeah, this is God.This unfailing almighty, good, true, faithful, unfailing, never leaving nor forsaking God that I believe in. Amen? That is moral certainty. Do you have that certainty? You need to read the Bible with that certainty. This is not just an ordinary man, flee by night type of man, the guy that just comes around promises all kinds of things, and then leaves. It's not like apromise that a lot of people make. I will do this, I will do that. I will make your life wonderful. We ready to believe all that. We’ll make your life wonderful, great future will come to you and great this that.We already, “Ah, yeah, he'll do it.” I'll tell you only He can do it.He's the only one that fulfills His promises. And look at the Bible, how He has fulfilled His promises. Every time He fulfilled His promise, it's so amazing.Centuries pass, but He never forgets His promise. He fulfills it.He told Abraham that,“400 years after your descendants have been in Egypt, I will deliver them with a mighty hand, they will come out with much possession,” He told them. 400 years later, a lot of them don't even know that this was promised. He comes exactly because he's got a calendarand the date is set. He comes and calls Moses and says, “Come.Time to deliver the people and bring them out,” and He brings them out and just like He said, “I'll bring them out with much possession,” He brought them out rich from their slavery in that land of Egypt. Just like He said that,He did it.

Like this, I can give you so many examples. That is why you should read the Bible with that perspective. See how God fulfills His promises. No matter how long it's been since He promised,He fulfils His promise.All right.Now go to Hebrews chapter 6 quickly. Hebrews chapter 6.Lot of things are said about hope there. But let me read to you verse 11 and 12. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.Now, he is telling the people that they have been doing good and they've been living a good spiritual life but he says, “Continue that, show the same diligenceuntil you have full assurance of hope,” he says. Other words, how does full assurance of hope comes?As you walk with God… when we come to Enoch, we're going to talk about what it means to walk with God. Keep walking with God, keep listening to God, keep doing what He says in every little thing. Keep doing the will of God. Keep obeying God, keep answering the call of God for your life. Keep living like that. He says, show diligence in doing thatto the full assurance of hope until the end. Till then don't leave that. Until you have the full assurance of hope.

Why? What is the purpose? Listen to verse 12,That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.The purpose of going till the end in your spiritual life,so that you get full assurance of hope, so that there's hope and the certainty of this hope grows in you.See, that's what the full assurance of hope is.See, it begins with hope but the certainty grows and grows and grows as you walk with God and experience God in so many areas of your life, the assurance grows even stronger.How many of you believe God's promises and God's goodness much more than how you believed 10 years ago when you first believed in Christ.Because of what has happened 10 years,how good He has been, and what you have experienced.That you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.Therefore, now you're more sure than ever.He says, if you do thatyou’ll have full assurance of hope. Then what will happen? Through faith… see the words are switched.If he said, live till the end to make sure that you get the full assurance of hope, then he should have said actually in verse 12, so that through hope and patience, you may inherit the promises, but he doesn't say that.So that you may through faith and patience inherit the promises.Why?Yeah, it began with hoping and hoping has a certain level of certainty in it. But certainty grows as you walk with God, it becomes full assurance of hope and then that certainty becomes faith. It graduates to what is called faith and when faith comes, you begin to inherit the promises of God. So it begins with hope and then that hope when it gets thefull assurance, when it becomes fully certain, when your hope is so certain that all doubts are removed, and you fully hope and you're so certain, then that is when it begins to turn into a powercalled faith, a mountain moving power called faith.

Now Paul agrees with it. Turn with me to Romans quickly. Romans chapter 4.We're going to study Romans 4 and all later on in great detail but let me just refer to this. Romans chapter 4 verse 18 onwards.When we come to Abraham we’ll look at Abraham's faith, and at that time I’ll talk in detail, but let me just mention this.Verse 18, it’s talking about Abraham's faith. Paul uses Abraham asan illustration of faith.And he says, Who, that means they’re referring to Abraham, contrary to hope, in hope believed, that he become the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” You know the story of Abraham.He didn't have any children, he is getting to be nearly 100 years old and God comes and says, “So shall your seed be.” He says, “Look at the stars of heaven,” and he looks there and God says, “Your seed shall be like the stars of heaven,”told the guy,he was getting old, doesn't even have one child, He says, “That's what your seed shall be. Your descendants shall be like this.”And what is this verse saying? Abraham heard that but who contrary to hope in hope believed that means there was nothing that showed on that day when God spoke to him and said,“So shall your seed be.”

He went and looked himself in the mirror and he was getting oldand looked at his wife he must have really got discouraged. He must have said, “Sarah,you're really getting old.Do you think we’re going to have a child?”Everything looks very bleak. The chances are very slim. He went to the doctor, the doctor said, “No chance.I’ve never heard of anything like this.” So he comes home, no hope. No, nothing that he could see and use as encouragement for him to have hope. World sometimes brings hopelessness. If you look at your situations, you will only find hopelessness.That's a wrong thing to do. If you look around you'll become more hopeless, if you look deeper into your situation you'll be in trouble, you will sink in your situation, you’ll look to this person and that person, whatever hope you have will go. So what does Abraham do? Abraham looks at God. Who is the one who promised? Doctor says,“No,” all the people are saying,“No, not possible.”The mirror on the wall says,“No, Abraham.Forget it.”The wife says,“Old man, you forget it.” But God says, “So shall your seed be.” So Abraham says,“I'm going to go with God.”

How can I go with God?Well, when we come to Abraham I’m going to trace the history of Abraham.He's experienced already God in some ways.He knows that He's good, He’s true, He’s faithful. He's a good God, He cares about him, He wants him to be well.He’s got a future for him.He's got some idea about this God, the nature of this God, the character of this God. So he says, “Even though there is nothing that I could look at, and be encouraged to have hope, I am going to have hope.Why?Because I knowthis God. Iknow something about this God, this nature of this God, and therefore I am going to put my faith in His word.” So he believed in hope, even though there was nothingthat told him that he has any chance and that he has any reason to have hope. What it means is, even though there is no reason to hope, yet in hope, he believed.So thathe became the father of many nations, believing like that only, he became the father of many nations. Can you imagine that?A guy who chose to believe God because he knew something about the nature of God, and how good He is, ended up being father of many nations.

And look at what he did. Verse 19, And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead. Look at the description,since he was about 100 years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb. I mean, he's as good as dead and his wife's womb is dead. That's how Paul describes it. And Paul is an amazing Old Testament expert. And he looks at Abraham and learns faith. He says, “I'm learning faith here, look at it and learn faith.” That's why he's bringing up Abraham here. And he says, “He did not waver,” wonderful word waver. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened infaith, giving glory to God. Did not waver, but started praising God, giving glory to God, strengthened in faith.And being fully convincedof what He had promised He was also able to perform.He was getting more and more convinced every day that what God has promised that He was able to perform and it happened just like he believed. Where did it start? It started with hope. It started with hope. And then after talkingabout hope in verse 8, later on you find it's talking about faith, Abraham's faith, because it starts as hope, a flicker of light in the midst of darkness, bringing hope. But then once you believe in God's word, and once you choose to believe that He is good, and therefore His Word is good, and stand on no matter what, then that turns into faith becomes the full assurance, you become convinced that what God has said He is able to doand once you reach that, then you experience what God has said He will do.Amen?

So he did not waver. Everybody say, he did not waver.What is wavering?Wavering is, in the morning he’s saying hallelujah and the evening he’s sayingaiyayo. That’s wavering. Wavering is believing one moment and in disbelief another moment.Talking faith one moment and talking unbelief another moment. He did not waver, he held on his position. He says, God isgood. He is true. He is faithful. He is full of love. He cares about me. He loves me. He'll do the best for me. I know it because I know Him. All right. And just one more verse. Go to Hebrews chapter 10 and verse 22, Let us draw near with a true heart. Now listen to this,in full assurance of faith, notice the expression.Full assurance of hope we read about in chapter 6 verse 11. But now it is full assurance of faith. What is faith? Faith is the assurance. Faith is the assurance. Have you got assurance? Have you got full assurance? Are you fully convinced? Are you unshakably convinced?That is faith.Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. And then look at this verse 23, Let us hold fast. Hold fast means don't waver. Look at that. Let's hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

The author of the book of Hebrews is saying, “Whatever God has promised, He is faithful to do it, He is able to accomplish it, He’s all powerful. So have full assurance of faith.” How do you get full assurance of faith? Whatever you hope for, hold fast in the confession of your hope.Begin to confess. Don't confess one thing in the morning and another thing in the evening. Don't confess this and that, don't confess faith and unbelief. Confess what you hope. What is your hope?Confess that hope. Confess what the promises of God say. Confess what God has said. And he says, “If you confess and hold fast without wavering,” again, the word wavering comes.That means without vacillating, without being uncertain, because hope is certain.A certainty, a moral certainty, that's what hope is. Hope is not just a hopeful expectation, biting your nails and crossing your fingers. This is why we say hope is not a nail biting, finger crossing experience. That is world's hope. Bible hope is a confident expectation,no wavering. No this way and that way. God hassaid it, God will do it. And I'll tell you, you may be in the pits today, but hope will bring you to the very top.And God's will is for you to be at the top.You shall not be beneath, you shall be above only.And how will God bring you from the pit to the top? I'll tell you, only with your cooperation. Only if you hang on to Him, only if you hang on to His word.He sends His word for you to hold on to, to think about, to meditate, to confess, to hold on to, to believe and reject everything else and believe God's word. And I'll tell you,His word will come to pass in your life. Amen? Shall we all stand together?

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