Break free of negative thoughts and begin to develop a confident expectation of God’s goodness toward you every day! In this three-part series, Pastor Joseph Prince shows you why you can continue to trust God for your breakthrough. Be encouraged as you begin to take this journey of experiencing God’s great love for you!
HOPE, THE FUEL OF FAITH
You may be thinking, “Why is it so important to have Bible hope? What’s the big deal?”
My friend, Bible hope is important because it is a crucial ingredient for faith. Without hope, your faith cannot work. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” If you don’t have hope, how can you have faith? If you don’t have a confident expectation of good, what is there to give substance to your faith?
So having hope is necessary and important, because it fuels your faith.
Consider the woman with the issue of blood in the Bible. For twelve years, she had a chronic bleeding condition. She spent all her money seeking treatment from various physicians, but none of the treatments helped her. In fact, the Bible tells us that she “suffered many things from many physicians…and was no better, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:26).
Most women would have given up on ever being cured, but this poor woman didn’t. She began to have Bible hope when she heard about the loving Savior. Let’s follow the story in Mark 5:27–29:
When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
Do you see? Because of what she had heard about Jesus, a confident expectation of receiving good from Jesus arose on the inside of her and ignited her faith to believe that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes, she would be made whole.
What caused this woman to brave the crowds, whom she knew could rightfully stone her for being in public in her unclean condition, and draw near to Jesus and take her healing from Him? It was bold faith fuelled by Bible hope. And this hope didn’t disappoint because it was based on Jesus’ love.
The more she heard about how Jesus willingly healed the diseased and despised—people like her—the more she began to see not a God of judgment but a God of love and compassion, and the more hope and unconscious faith grew in her.
Beloved, if you are believing God for healing in your body today, don’t focus on whether you have “sufficient” faith or not (there is no record in the Bible that the woman did this). Just keep hearing about Jesus—His love, His grace, and His goodness toward you. See from the Gospels how He healed the sick without any strings attached. Never once did He condemn anyone for being sick, or chide anyone for daring to ask Him for healing. He willingly healed all who came to Him, no matter what their histories were.
As you hear about His goodness and have a personal revelation of His love for you, a confident, positive expectation of good from the Lord will arise in your heart. Firmly established upon His love, this hope will fuel your faith so that like the woman with the issue of blood, you will reach out boldly to receive your miracle!
HOPE—THE MISSING LINK
Allow me to share with you another testimony on the power of Bible hope. Alice and her husband, a precious couple from Pennsylvania, US, wanted a child of their own. They tried for ten years, but Alice just could not conceive. She had even undergone a year of fertility treatments, only to develop later a large, painful cyst on her right ovary. The cyst was removed through a laparoscopy, but after the surgery, she was diagnosed with severe endometriosis. Her doctor proposed putting her on medication for conception, but Alice preferred not to be medicated. She decided to believe that God would bless her with a child and that He could and would do it independent of medical treatment.
Months passed and Alice still did not conceive. Then one day, she heard a sermon of mine that explained Bible hope and encouraged her to hope in a gracious God.
She also learned that this God had made her righteous and qualified her for every blessing through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. With Bible hope in her heart birthed out of a fresh revelation of God’s love for her, Alice told God that she wanted a champion of a baby. To God be the glory, Alice conceived not long after. And after a supernaturally easy pregnancy and labor, she and her husband now have a beautiful baby boy named, Noah!
“I was told that people with the level of endometriosis I was diagnosed with only have a one to two percent chance of conceiving without treatment, and that even with in vitro fertilization, the chances are low,” she said. “Yet, here is Noah with no help from man!”
When did her turning point come? Let me share with you what Alice explained so poignantly:
As I listened to your message, I realized how I had focused so much on trying to have faith for a baby, but was really afraid to hope for a baby in the “positive expectation of good” way you described. I’d thought that daring to hope would bring me more disappointment because I’d never heard that hope was a sure thing for those in Christ. This was the missing link for me in understanding faith as the substance of things hoped for, not a work or level of belief I needed to maintain.
Isn’t that beautiful? Hope sprang up in her heart when she realized that faith is not something that she had to work at or try to maintain. And when she realized that hope “was a sure thing for those in Christ,” her faith just skyrocketed. This is why the Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for. Your faith can’t take you where you want to go without the fuel of hope. And, as Alice discovered, this hope is a sure thing, an unshakable expectation of a most favorable outcome.
It is my prayer that you will, like Alice, learn to grow in and always have a positive expectation of good, knowing that God loves you and wants to fulfill the deepest desires of your heart.
Beloved, if you are sick right now, I want to encourage you to keep on having a confident expectation that you will get better. If you lack financially, keep on having a positive expectation that supply is on the way. Keep on hoping that that wayward teenager will become a man or woman of God. Keep on hoping, knowing that this hope will not disappoint because it is anchored to the Lord’s love and finished work. And one of these days, sooner than you think, you will relish the fruit of your hope!