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Hoping Beats Wishing

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Hoping Comes From Faith

We’ve all found ourselves stuck in life. Maybe we have a habit that’s beyond a New Year’s Resolution fix. Maybe we’ve gotten a divorce, had a moral failure, or just feel purposeless and want something new. So, the question is: how is a life made new? And the answer is: faith.
We believe that if we put our faith in Jesus, He will make our lives new. He will lead us on a journey of becoming the people He created us to be. It will be rocky. There will be setbacks, but He will continually renew us.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Faith is confidence. I am confident I’ve put my faith in the most logical worldview, the most logical explanation for the existence of the world.
The world likes to conflate two different kinds of faith. First, there’s the real kind of faith that the Bible talks about. That’s when you trust in something for a certain reason. The world believes everything came from nothing. I believe everything came from something. Which one’s more logical? I am confident there’s a God, and that confidence gives me hope. In other words, faith gives me hope. If I trust God, I hope that He has a good plan for me. If I trust my wife, I hope that we’re going to live a good life together. If I trust the chair I’m sitting in, I have logical hope that it’s not going to break.
The second kind of faith is blind faith. There is a reason you have to add the word “blind.” This is a different kind of faith than what we have as Christians. Our faith is not blind. We have evidence of what we put our faith in. When our faith is blind, it doesn’t give us hope. When we don’t have hope, we have to settle for a wish. But does wishing on a star accomplish anything? No. Wishes are unreal.
As I’m writing this, there is a new Disney movie in the theaters called Wish.  While I did actually enjoy the movie, the main message of it was concerning. The movie encourages you to wish upon a star, but here’s the kicker. It also says that you are the star that you should wish upon. The theme song of the movie perfectly sums up the materialistic worldview. It’s called “I’m a Star,” and here are some of the lyrics:
Have you ever wondered why you look up at the sky for answers?
Or why flowers in the wind are effortless and eloquent dancers?
What forms the rings in the trees turns a pine from a seed?
What’s passed down generationally, to you? (And to me?)
And why our eyes all look like microscopic galaxies?
Have you ever wondered why you look up at the sky for answers?
Well, you don’t have to look too hard
We’re here for all your question marks
If you’re tryna figure out just who you are
Don’t look far
In the sky, and your front yard
In your heart and in the scars
If you really wanna know just who you are
You’re a star (Yes)
Boom, did we just blow your mind? Uh-huh
Well, I’ve known the entire time
When it comes to the universe we’re all shareholders
Get that through your system (Solar)
See we’re all just little nebulae in a nursery
From supernovas now we’ve grown into our history
We’re taking why’s right out of mystery, closure
Now we’re taking in all the star exposure
We eat the leaves and they eat the sun
See that’s where all the balls of gas come from
Hey, you still look like you’re hanging on by a strand
But If you just see the mushrooms then you’ll understand
So your dust, is my dust? Fantastic, huh
Here’s a little fun allegory
That gets me excitatory
This might sink in in the morning
We are our own origin story
If I’m explaining this poorly
Well I’ll let star do it for me
It’s all quite revelatory
We are our own origin story
That song is as religious as any song I’ve heard in church. It’s a song about a god, and that god is you. It says that you are your own origin story.
Do you know what a fact is? The dictionary says that a fact is what the majority of experts say is true. In other words, they say that if a majority of the experts are wrong, then a fact can be wrong. So let me give you a fact: According to the American Museum of Natural History, scientists agree that you are stardust. If you are only an accident of some star explosion, you cannot have hope.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus came to give us hope, not to grant our wishes. We think that getting what we want will make us happy, so we wish to win the lottery or to have our fantasies play out, but God gives us a hope that is much greater.
My kids wish for presents every Christmas. Why? Because even though they don’t have them yet, they have faith in me. They trust me.
The wise men didn’t wish on a star. They followed a star. Why? Because they had faith that the star would lead them to the Messiah, and their faith was based on evidence.
We assume that the prophet Daniel read Numbers 24:17 to the ancestors of these wise men.
I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel.
The prophet Daniel would have told the wise men to watch for a star. The wise men had faith that there would be a star because Daniel’s prophecies had come true before. So, when they saw the star, they followed the star.
My prayer for you is that you will put your faith in Jesus so that He can produce hopeful joy in your life.
Like the wise men did, when you put your faith in God, you don’t wish on God to get things from Him. Instead, you follow Him, and that is how we’re made new. Not by getting things from God, but by following Him.
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