Pastor Bankie
‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’

The issue of faith has been extensively examined in the church of Christ, but I’ll love us to at this time correctly examine that quote from Heb.11.1. Specifically, let us first talk about the word ‘hope.’

Hope, as used is the scriptures, literally means a firm expectation.

Now, I quite realise that that is not the common English usage in which it is used to refer to something we desire and would love to happen but we can’t be certain of. For example, a man buys a gift for his wife and says ‘I hope she likes it’. He has just expressed his desire. This has confused the church extensively in the understanding of the scriptural hope.

Scriptural hope does not mean a wish or a desire but rather an expectation based on a sound evidence. It is sure. As far as that evidence goes, it is reliable.

Hope is the product of the trust you have in the evidence. For example, if I promise my wife a gold ring for her next birthday, she will look forward to wearing a new gold ring on her next birthday. In short, she has a hope of a new gold ring. Not a desire or a wish but an expectation. Why? Her loving, does-not-promise-and-fail husband has promised. Her evidence is my word.

Have you noticed that she’s holding on to that word? That is faith.

Her faith (in my word) is the assurance of the gold ring she’s expecting and the conviction of the gift that she cannot yet see!

God is the husband and you are the wife. His promise will fill you with an expectation because you are trusting His word. That is what the Bible calls faith. So you see, it is the promise first, then faith in your heart, these two unite and produce an expectation, a hope.

As an example, if you are Abraham, 99 years old, with Mrs. Sarah Abraham being 89 years old, and you call yourself a father of many nations though not having an offspring yet (which is hope), your only assurance is the fact that you consider Him faithful who has promised (that is faith). The promise you believed produced the hope.

So we see that hope is certain. It is as firm as its foundation. The foundation is the word of God. It cannot disappoint.

‘ “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him”.’

‘For thou art my hope, O Lord God, thou art my confidence from my youth’

‘…(There is) a hope laid up for you…of which you have heard in the word of truth, the gospel’

Do you have a hope, an expectation? On what is it based? Remember that your hope is only as good as what it is based on.

You expect to be healthy. Good. Because there is no hereditary sickness known in your family? Oh no. You could be the first. It happens.

You expect to be happily married. Good. Because the guy is so nice and caring? Oh no! People change!

The only hope that cannot disappoint is that placed in God, an expectation that is based upon the word of God. Why? Because God cannot fail.

Has He promised you anything? Then rest assured that it will definitely come to be. I want to introduce you today to the reason why you can rest, why you can go to sleep. (By the way if you’ve not been sleeping, remember that the Bible says there are things that God only gives when you are sleeping).

I want to tell you about God, the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ that does not fail. The Bible tells me that in Him there is no variableness or shadow of turning. This means that He does not change, neither do circumstances change Him. Let me explain.

If I promised you N10,000.00, collectable next week; (bear in mind I’m a honest, nice, rich man). Next week comes and I’m flat broke, bankrupt and in deep debt, you definitely can kiss the promise goodbye.

What has happened is that I have been changed by circumstances. That is called shadow of turning.

Or next week comes and I’m dead, very dead, six-feet-under-interred. You don’t need a wise Solomon to tell you to forget the 10K.

What has happened? I have changed. It is called variableness. The Bible says neither of these happens with my God. The whole earth can die, it doesn’t matter, if He promised He will perform. He has said ‘I act, who can hinder it’ and ‘as for my outstretched hand, who can turn it back?’

He said ‘I am the Lord, God of all flesh, is there anything too difficult for me?’

What has He promised you?

The scripture says He has made us partakers of great and precious promises which are better than the ones Moses downloaded on mount Sinai.

He said ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee’

I will take sickness away from you.
You shall be above only and not beneath.
There shall none be barren in your midst, I make women dwell in the house as joyful mothers of children.
Blessed shall you be in the field, blessed shall be the fruit of your body.
You shall not want. All the good things of life shall be added unto you.
I don’t care how poor your background is. I am your new background. I am your foreground; I carry you into a new future. Have you believed in Jesus? That is a new heritage. The country you live in cannot change Me. In Me there is no variableness or shadow of turning.
I heal you of all kinds of diseases-hereditary, acquired, epidemic, endemic, nervous, or whatever.
Their name is not higher than the name of Jesus.

‘Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made an open show of them.’

You are delivered. No devil can worry you. You are a child of God.

Listen, whatever God has promised will come to pass because it is written, ‘it is impossible for God to lie.’
Now, he wasn’t saying God is not dishonest. Every idiot knows that. Lying has more in it than dishonesty. There is also the factor of inability. For example, the weather forecaster may tell you it will be a bright and sunny day tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and it is cloudy and rainy. What has happened is that the man has lied, though a honest man. The weather was not in his control.

God cannot lie means there is nothing outside His control. He can cause prosperity to flow towards you like a river and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream.

He can raise a dead Lazarus thereby telling everyone that there is no sickness, not even death that He cannot reverse. It was told to Mary that ‘with God nothing shall be impossible’ or literally, ‘no word of God shall be void of power’.

That means that if God says something, within that word is all the power and equipment and accessories and plans and devices and people required to bring it to pass.
Mary says ‘Pregnant? I did not sleep with a man’. Gabriel says ‘Forget it. God says “now are you pregnant”. That word is all the “man” you need; it is all the womb you need. The word is fully equipped’.

You want to marry? No, you do not need money. All you need is for God to say ‘go’. You don’t need a big car, old age or a big house. You need God’s word.

This God does not fail. If necessary He will roll back a sea, dry up a river, remove a nation’s ruler, stop the rotation of the earth, rejuvenate a 90 year old woman, do whatever great thing necessary to make His word come to pass.

Guess what? He is itching for a fight just to show Himself in your life. It is written, “the eye of the Lord runs to and fro the surface of the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully His".

He said, “I watch over My word to perform it”. This is why it has been written that “those who hopefully wait for Him will not be put to shame.” This is my God.

He is my hope. I trust Him. I rely fully on Him. What about you?
Let me tell you one of the reasons why I absolutely trust Him. I discovered that He loves me more than I love myself. This means He wants to bless me more than I want to be blessed. And He knows me more than I know myself. So I relax.

I have come to know that God is love.

Do you know all He’s asking for? He says ‘just trust me, I know what I’m doing”.

If I keep you, you will never fall.
If I help you, you will never fail.
If I lead you, you will not miss the way.

He says, ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path’.
How He longs for one who will trust Him. That is what is called faith, to trust God. It gladdens His heart. That was what Abraham did that made God begin to swear to bless him. It was not the sacrifice; it was the faith. The Bible says that Abraham agreed to sacrifice Isaac because he had received a promise that from this Isaac will his descendants come. He realized that God would raise him up from the dead.

God saw this unprecedented level of faith and began to swear to bless him.
I invite you today to make a commitment to trust Him. He does not fail.

If you do not have a personal relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ, then that is your first step.

Say this prayer aloud:

“Father God, I come to you today.
“I ask for your mercy and forgiveness.
“I want to trust you.
“I believe that Jesus is alive, and I accept Him as Lord over my life.
“From today I make a commitment to trust your word. Teach it to me Lord.
“In Jesus’ name I pray.”
God bless you.

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