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Hidden Costs

Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)

Series Focus: “Cleaning House”

Do you have any deferred maintenance projects on your list? You know, the big things that only happen occasionally: roof, water heater, central air unit, exterior staining or painting… The list goes on! Some people allocate a portion of funds monthly for these types of projects. Others may invest in a home warranty. Some have no plan or preparation in place for these hidden costs. Without saving or preparing, panic erupts when these big-ticket items go out.

What about in our spiritual walk, when we come up against big things that may rattle our faith? Have we prepared beforehand for the tests we may endure in the future? Do we have a plan in place to build ourselves up and strengthen ourselves now so we aren’t tossed about in the chaos of the struggles then? Or, are we already depleted before those trials even present themselves?

Proverbs 13:12 NASB says:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Delaying our hope causes our hearts to be faint. Putting off this investment is detrimental to our future in faith. Many of us are so BUSY! Our calendars are booked from sunrise to sunset with no time to think or plan or prepare. We may find ourselves with a depleted resource of hope. Yet, each of us has the same twenty-four hours in a day, and we each control our schedules. It is our responsibility to choose to make time to invest in our hope journey.

When that desire to seek God—to hope in Him—comes, it feeds our spirits and fuels us to make the changes required to allow time in our schedules to pursue Him. Excitement and anticipation fill our spirits as we grow in intimacy with our Maker. A tree of life sprouts up within us as we meet with Him day by day in His word, in prayer, and in worship.

As our hope in Him increases, we strengthen our faith by listening to the words of our God. Paul wrote in Romans 10:17 NASB:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

There are many ways we can hear the word of Christ: going to church, listening to podcasts, reading the Bible, studying the scriptures, praying the prayers in the word of God, and singing worship songs with scripture in the lyrics. These are just a few. You may think of other ways to hear the word of Christ. As we invest ourselves in these activities, our hope stays ignited and our faith burns brighter.

Preparation time is never wasted time. Isaiah 40:31 NIV says:

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Whether saving for those hidden costs in the deferred maintenance projects or in our faith journey, let’s commit to being proactive instead of reactive. Deposit a little each month in a savings plan—money and scripture. Perhaps invest in a Home Warranty Plan AND a Hope Warranty Plan. Let’s not fly through the busy-ness of each day unprepared for those projects and trials ahead. May our homes be secure and our strength be renewed as we soar into our future with our faithful God.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Hebrews 11:1; Proverbs 13:12; Romans 10:17; Isaiah 40:31


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