Thursday, March 18, 2010

If Hope Floats, then Faith Sweats...

Several years ago the movie “Hope Floats” hit the cinemas. I’m not even sure what the movie was about, but the name of the movie causes me to think. How can hope float? What is there about hope that is buoyant? Oh, I could give some analogies as to the title if I were inclined to stretch my overactive imagination. Nevertheless, you’re probably thinking: just watch the movie and it will make sense. Maybe, but that’s more than I want to know right now because I’m pondering a different topic… faith.

That’s right – F-A-I-T-H – Faith! Not just ordinary run of the mill type faith that impresses nobody, let alone God, but hardworking faith that sweats. Real faith always sweats! Not sweating because it struggles to believe in God (although this happens to some), but sweating as it perseveres in the pursuit of God. Abraham had a sweaty faith. As you read Scripture you can see his faith develop from one who timidly trusted God to one who believed God so much that even the hardest task of obedience would not shatter his walk (Gen. 22). Abraham walked by faith even though he too sometimes stumbled by sight. He understood “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” and that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:1, 6). Abraham’s faith was not simply words tossed about with no evidence of belief. His faith was represented by actions that proved his deep and abiding conviction for God, His Word, and a desire to live and walk in a manner pleasing to his Lord. His was a faith that conquers; his was a faith that sweats.

What are you facing right now that is requiring some perspiration from you in the area of faith? Is it a relationship problem that you are trusting God to resolve? Could it be an employment issue or a financial matter that you are praying for God’s movement? Could it be a prodigal child or a wayward sister or brother? Whatever it might be, roll up your sleeves and pray. Believe the all-sufficient God for a positive outcome to your difficult situation. And work up a good sweat as you continue to do that which God says is pleasing to Him, evidencing to all that your faith is a sweaty faith that works and drips for God’s glory.

Yes, perhaps hope does float, but I know this to be true – real faith sweats!