I am reading a wonderful book by John Piper called Future Grace. The premise of the book is that all the power of Christianity comes when we live in faith that God will provide us His grace int the future. Even when we can see countless examples of His goodness to us in the past, they basically serve as a confidence builder for us to have faith in His future provision.
While thinking through some of these ideas I was drawn to the past election. Millions of people put their faith in hope (or should I say hope and change). It was hope undefined and because of that in many ways unlimited. People superimposed their hopes into the generic master hope that the President preached. Of course he himself did not ask them to do that but by using a sufficiently generic term like “hope”, he could co-opt whatever hopes millions of individuals had. This is why we have so many accounts of generally uneducated people saying things like Obama is going to take care of their mortgage or give them money or fix whatever problem they have even when the President has no actual ability to do these things. This is a good example that faith always has an object, and in this case the object of these people’s faith was hope for their problems to be solved by someone who’s never met them and could not pick them out of a lineup.
Christians should be different. Realizing that faith always has an object, our faith should be in God alone. That God has graciously given us multiple perspectives of Himself through history, His word and His Son should make our faith in Him that much more substantive. Rather than put our faith in generic, undefined hope, we should put our hope in our faith in a glorious, loving and sovereign God. Paul said “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live BY FAITH in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20). Faith is enabler for all our future decisions, actions and growth BECAUSE of who we have faith in.
Because our faith is rooted in a specific someone who is able to do immeasurably more than anything we can ask or imagine, we can hope in faith. It is the total opposite of those who put their faith in hope without focus or specifics.