What are you hopes and dreams for the coming year? I was journaling about that question today. My conclusion was that I have many small hopes for next year and one big one.
What about you?
When I was discussing this with a friend recently, he made an interesting prediction. “Jim, I feel as if we’re about to ‘turn a corner.’ Many of the things God wants to do for us aren’t even visible right now. We’ll have to turn the corner in order to see them.”
My friend’s statement got me thinking about one of the most intriguing verses in the entire Bible: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
On the one hand, faith is a “NOW” experience—something tangible we can hold in our hands today. However, faith has no real meaning unless it’s connected to “things hoped for”—God’s promises for our future.
As you head into a new year, what are the things you’re hoping for? Even though they may be “things not seen” yet by your natural eyes, by faith they can nevertheless be REAL.
The writer of Hebrews continues this thought throughout chapter 11. All of those in the Bible’s “Hall of Fame of Faith” had to trust God for things they couldn’t yet see…
- Abraham and Sarah were promised a son.
- Moses and the Israelites were told about a Promised Land the Lord had prepared for them.
- The disciples were promised the Holy Spirit, who would soon come and empower them.
The Amplified translation of Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the “title deed” to things not yet experienced by our physical senses. These things may be right around the corner or many years off. We simply can’t see them yet.
However, when God made a promise to someone in the Bible, it was as good as done. Perhaps the person wasn’t actually living in their Promised Land yet, but they had the title deed.
Many of God’s promises are generic and timeless. For example, we’re promised His faithfulness (Lamentations 3: 22-24), His presence (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5), and His continual goodness and mercy (Psalm 23:6). Not only does He promise to meet all of our needs (Philippians 4:19), but He also promises to give us the desires of our heart if our main delight is in Him (Psalm 37:4).
Of course, the Bible has many other general promises applicable to all of us who are believers in Christ. But what about situations where we need something more personal, addressing a very specific need in our lives? What if we’re asking God to do something for us that isn’t specifically covered by any of the generic promises in His Word?
In such cases, we need to hear His voice! We must draw near to Him in prayer and listen for the promptings of His Spirit. Like Peter, who wouldn’t dare step out of the boat until summoned by Jesus, we need to await His instructions.
Do you have your title deed—your promises from God—for the coming year? If so, you can wait patiently for their fulfillment. Or if action is required on your part, He will enable you to take bold steps of faith and overcome all obstacles.
At times your title deed will be a direct promise in the Bible, energized by the Holy Spirit as you pray. At other times, He will customize a promise just for you. Either way, the assurance that comes with the title deed will give you deeper rest and peace than you’ve ever experienced before. No more striving…worrying…fretting. The moment He declares something, you can consider it finished.
So take a deep breath and thank God for everything He’s promised you. If you have the title deed, all you need to do is trust and obey. He will take care of everything else.