Hope and Faith

Hope and faith are twin virtues that are gifted to each believer at the time of their new birth. Given in small measure, like newborn babies, they need to be nurtured to grow and thrive.

Click on image for a closer look. The polymer clay sculpture on left, titled 'Hope' is 9x12"

In the Bible, although hope and faith are used together, they are not the same.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”Heb 11:1 KJV

All that is written about time management can leave us with a sense of despair about wasted time. Lost time spent in mundane daily activities is sometimes unavoidable. Then there is the time lost due to rebellion, or circumstances beyond our control.

Sometimes there was so much that I yearned to do, and so little that seemed to be happening. Time seemed to be flying by at breakneck speed, yet seemed to be standing still for me. I am sure that some of you have felt the same impatience and regret.

You may have lost time because of harsh circumstances - the loss of loved ones, tough financial times, crazy schedules, little time to create etc…

Does that disqualify you, or set you back from fulfilling your purpose, as an artist in His service? Most definitely not!

As Christians we are heirs of an incredible redemption, in every area of our lives. Hope and faith is the currency for that redemption.

Like precious money, we can invest hope and faith in God’s Word. Then He goes to work to redeem our lost time. That Word makes the following incredible promise.

“He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world (eternity) in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecc 3: 11 KJV

Like a sculptor fashioning a work of art, God promises to redeem everything - including our lost time. He works with our weaknesses and our passions, our failures and our hard work, our rebellion as well as our apathy.

Each of us is a complex mixture that He uses as the raw material, to create something that will be beautiful in its time. While He works, our sense of the temporal is replaced with a deep, intuitive understanding of the eternal. That too is a beautiful process.

All of His work is mysterious and unfathomable. Occasionally we comprehend some aspect of it. But whether we do or not, the work goes on.

Watching a sculptor at work can be a similarly confusing experience, for one who is not an artist. Clay is slapped on and everything looks misshapen. Spaces are gouged out, and tools cut, carve, press, punch, squeeze and slice. Nothing makes much sense to the viewer (which is why demonstrations of the process, are such a crowd-pleaser at many art events!)

Trusting God’s promise that He is at work, is sufficient for our present. A monumental sculpture reveals little as it waits for its unveiling. It is an ungainly form under the drape. But when the curtain is finally pulled off the sculpture, it will take our breath away with its beauty.

I am certain that we too, in the fullness of time, will be overwhelmed at God’s creative use of all our messes, to create His masterful work of art.

So today, instead of despairing about the past, invest the precious currency of hope and faith in His promise.

“Forget the former things:
Do not dwell on the past
See, I am doing a new thing!
Do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
And streams in the wasteland”
Is 43:18,19

Don’t you get the feeling from reading the passage above that God delights in proving His ability to work out the impossible?

The only thing that could possibly hinder our experiencing this for ourselves, is disregarding the dual currency of hope and faith.

Friend, don’t dwell on the past, instead reach in hope and faith for an incredible future with Him.

Time Management for the Artist.

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