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Watch 2022 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - Faith, Hope and Love

Leon Fontaine - Faith, Hope and Love

Leon Fontaine - Faith, Hope and Love
TOPICS: Faith, Hope, Love

Hey, everybody. It's so good to have you with me today. Today, we're going to talk about hopes and dreams. The enemy of our souls would love for you to stop dreaming. As you are pounded with negativity and fear and all the things that have been going on in our world especially in the last couple of years. It is so easy to let go of a dream, to let go of the dream. All of your dreaming. The dreams for family, finances, prosperity, travel, etcetera. And the Bible's very clear that hope is a crucial thing. Where there is no hope, faith has no ability to even go to work. And so I want to help you today to have strong faith. I want to help you today to begin to believe God for incredible things that make sure that your hopes and your dreams are cranked up and don't let anything begin to remove them because faith goes and gets what hope has been dreaming about.

We just got to make sure that we begin to walk in faith because you can't live in just hope. Hope is future tense. A lot of people when I would pray with them as I was traveling or anyone that would say, "Leon, would you pray for me"? And I'd say, "Well, do you believe that God will heal you? Do you believe that that need will be met"? Well, I sure hope so. I say, "Well, there's no sense of us praying yet because hope is not what defeats the enemy". It's a crucial part of the process of faith. But you need to move from hope to faith because hope is future tense. What are you hoping for? Now, we need lots of hopes. Hopes cause us to dream. Hope is something that the imagination's been given to you and I to begin to dream of our future, to begin to hope of better things, better days, incredible stuff.

So hope is powerful. Don't get me wrong. But if you pray the way so many Christians do when I listen to them, and they think that they're being humble by saying, "Well, you never know what God's going to do. He's like a box of chocolates. You'll never know what you're going to get". That's not true at all. We know what God is going to do because God has already done it. The Bible says by His stripes you were healed. He has already paid the price for every one of His promises. He is already in Christ, in Jesus, from the cross all the way to the throne. He has, it's been paid for. It is done. It is been passed to you. All things are given to you. And so we no longer say, "Oh, I'm waiting for God". It's not true because all of the promises now are yes and amen. Jesus qualified you and I for all the promises.

So as we begin to hope for better things. We begin to hope for things on our future. We don't do it from the perspective of, "Well, I'm sure hoping God will do it". No. That's why as we talk today, I'm going to show you how you can have powerful faith, and you have to understand hope. But then you've also got to understand love and where it fits in this. What is faith? What is believing? And this is not complex at all. This is powerful teaching from the Word of God. And so 1 Corinthians 13:13, says, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love". These three things need to abide on the inside of you, live within you. These three words are stunning. Faith, hope, and love.

Now, as we look at this, you'll see that hope is expecting. It's looking towards the future. And the more you grow and build in the Word of God, the stronger that hope gets. But now when we take a look at faith, then what is faith? Well, hope is future tense. But now faith is absolutely persuaded. It's mine now. Faith only works in the now. And this is something you'll see all through the New Testament. Like the Bible says now faith is the substance of things hoped for. Now, it doesn't say, now faith is going to be the substance. It's so clear that faith is. It's present tense. Anytime I've seen miracles in my life and in other people's lives, it's because faith believes it's mine now. And this fully persuaded.

Now this is mine right now, in the name of Jesus. And when they speak to mountains, when they pray, the Bible says in Mark 11:20 and on, it says that when we pray, that we must believe that we have received. Believe you've received. Another words it's not well, one day in the sweet by and by. But people who are afraid to really pray and maybe look bad. They say, "Well, you know, we're praying and hoping. Praying and believing". And they use that as some kind of an escape clause that nothing is happening with their prayer. No, you are going to have to recognize that these three words are stunning and powerful and you need to understand them. And so whenever I would pray with people, they might say things like, well, I'd say, "I will pray for you. But do you believe that God is going to heal you when I pray with you"?

Well, I sure hope so. Now, I would encourage him to go back to studying the Word, or I come back, you know, at another time, get into God's Word. And sometimes I think if they were just a step away, I say, "Listen to me. Hope is future tense. So faith believes it's yours now". And I would just try to see if I could cause them to pray in faith, because praying in hope is a part of the process of faith. And that's for another topic but it's not faith. And the victory that overcomes the world, anything in the world even our faith. This fully persuaded, done. It's mine now. Right now this is mine. That is faith. And so many people have been taught wrong and have been praying in hope. And even when you pray in hope, nothing happens. Unless you are praying and speaking the Word, meditating on the Word in hope, and that dream is getting larger. And that what you see on the inside through, you know, through the eyes of faith which is like your imagination. It just keeps growing and becoming clearer and clearer.

Hope's a crucial part of this process of faith, but it's not faith. And so I'd really encourage people to do what Jesus taught us when it comes to renewing your mind in the Word, planting God's Word in your heart. So faith is being absolutely persuaded. It's now. It's mine now. It's done, it's a done deal. Even if you can't see it. The apostle Paul would say things like, you know, that I, he's not moved by what he sees but that he is looking at the unseen. We don't look at the things that are seen but we look at the things that are unseen.

Now, that word seen is the word for senses. And so I'm not going to look at what I'm feeling, seeing, hearing. That's all negative and it looks like it's over. I'm defeated. No, faith looks at the unseen realm. That is the realm where you take God's Word and you begin to believe it. And as you meditate in God's Word, Holy Spirit convinces your heart. He causes this incredible process as you meditate in the Word, speak the Word. The Word gets planted in your heart and it begins to take root in your heart like a seed in soil. And as the roots go down, and as this begins to grow up. This process is starting and it's working. Let's talk about love for a minute. Where does love fit into this? Because the Bible says that faith worketh by love. Faith works and continues to work and stabilized in its working by love.

Now, this is really important because love is the greatest thing the Word of God says and love is God. So it is God's motive. It is God's intention. To believe the love of God is this incredible foundation for faith. You begin to trust His heart. You begin to trust His motives. Trust His love for you, that He only wants the best for you. When I was a young man, we would have people that would say, "Just throw yourself on God. Just trust Him. Just say, 'God, whatever You want. I will do.'" But then they would mix this message with all these stories of things they didn't want to do but God made them. And then as they opened up their lives to God, He would break them and cause bad things to come into their life. They would talk about sickness and death and money and issues. But in their mind, but God was doing this for their best. And it freaked me out. It made me really back away.

And although I love God and I wanted to grow with His Word, to just to be able to say to God, "God, Your will be done". Which is the prayer that Jesus prayed, not my will but your will be done. And then everyone, we were just taught this in so many areas of our denomination and it just scared everybody. That God was going to hurt you, as though God... You see, everyone keeps thinking that storms are the best teaching. They believe that experience is the best teacher. So you need to suffer. That's not what the Bible says. Holy Spirit is the best teacher. His Word, so Holy Spirit and His Word as you dive into God's Word. And you begin to learn and grow and open your heart to Him and let Holy Spirit teach you. He searches your hearts and the Word of God that you are meditating and begins to push out wrong beliefs about yourself, about life, about God. He begins to push them out and your heart gets established in grace. God has already given you all things that pertain to life and Godliness. He's given you all things. He's not holding it back.

In fact, He's not even the one that makes the move. It's kind of like playing chess. You know, when, if you and God are playing chess, and God moved. What's your move? Well, God play. No. You don't even need to beg and plead and bug with God. Even when we say, you know, asking God for things. That word "ask" means to declare. It's kind of like sitting at a table with our family where you want the potatoes passed and it's ten people down the table. And I say, "Hey, honey, could you pass". It's just the way to move the food around the table. And literally that is what God is saying to you and I. That He has freely given us all things.

As you look at these three words, faith, hope, and love. This love is crucial because if you've been taught that God's going to hurt you. God's going to hold things back from you. As though today's not the day of salvation, He's going to make you wait. And so people believe that, you know, you're hanging on the cliff and your fingernails are barely got a grip and you're sliding. And that God's not going to rescue, He's going to wait till the last possible minute. And then He's going to swoop in and grab you so that you trust Him more. All these crazy doctrines are not true. The Bible teaches us that God, that today is the day of salvation. That He is an, He is ever present to be our salvation. He is not playing some crazy game of testing you like, "Will you still love Me if I don't bless you and I don't look after you"? No, Jesus paid the price.

And so this issue of love is something a lot of people struggle with and I hold this, you know, at, to the feet of people who don't teach the Word of God properly and we put fear in people of God. Now, some will say, "The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". Yes, but that fear is not to be terrified of Him. That fear is to be so in awe. And God wants you to love Him. Did you know that we know through just human studies that if you can't trust somebody, that you really can't love them greatly. Because this fear continually of not being able to trust them, what will they do, what will they say, you know, etcetera. And so trust and love are crucial. That it's vital that you love Him. That you know that God is for your best. He loved you so much. You know, one of the verses in the Bible says that if He gave you His Son, would He not freely give you anything?

And let's think about this for a minute. You know, if a situation comes in life, and you have to give your child in payment. Now, that's just horrid to even think about. Well, that values so far beyond your house, your car, your bank account, etcetera. That are you kidding me? If I would give you the son, I give you, I'd rather give you everything else than give you my child. And so, but God is, the Word is saying, if He gives you and I His Son. Why is He withholding anything else? He's trying to show you and I that it is your Father's good will to give you the kingdom. Everything in the kingdom. And so this craziness of, you know, trying to think of God as like an earthly father. He's so far beyond an earthly father. He so far beyond that you need to begin to love Him.

And I have found for me, the only way that I could love Him to the degree I am today, and I want to love Him more, is to recognize He's always for my good. And that He wants to teach me through the Word of God. The Bible says in Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, that through Your Word, You make me wiser than my teachers. Through your precepts, through your promises. He's talking about the Word. He makes me wiser than my teachers, wiser than people older than me, wiser than my enemies. Where does that wisdom come from? That wisdom, that ability it comes from Him and His Word. It doesn't come from, oh, the person who suffered the most is the wisest.

I actually have not found that as a paramedic for years and then a pastor for decades, as I've worked with people going through things. I actually don't find that a lot of pain and heartache has made people wiser. I find it makes them defeated. It gives them up hope. They start blaming God. They change their doctrines. I find the people who meditate in the Word and spend time with God in His Word. These are the ones who begin to love Him more as they see who He really is. All of the names of God in the Old Testament are names that protect you and bless you and heal you and are there. It's a stunning thing to study the names of God. None of them is He's going to be your punisher. That He's going to be your persecutor. That He's going to be withholding things from you. This issue of love. Faith worketh by love is a big deal. And some of you need to get to a church that'll teach you who Jesus really is, and how much He loves you.

So that you can begin to love Him and see God's motive. God's motive for blessing you is love. God, you know, you can trust Him. He loves you. And as you begin to move into that, you're going to begin to love Him. And as you begin to believe God for stuff, and someone, "Why would you believe God for that"? Well, first of all, Jesus died, rose again, paid the price, and He qualified me for all the promises, and God just loves me. He loves me so much. It's interesting to watch my grandkids and to recognize when they begin to see how much you love them and they trust you. You would never hurt them. In fact, it actually makes me sick to think about people like parents, grandparents, who might hurt little ones, whose trust is so much in them, and they won't be there for them. They won't protect them. They might even hurt them, or do sick things because of drugs or alcohol or whatever. It just does something to me because this love has got to have trust woven into it.

In Isaiah 26:3-4, it says, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the rock eternal". In Isaiah 26:3-4. I found one of the things that keeps my faith strong and vibrant is as I get into God's Word and I begin to see how much, everything I read, this is how much you love me. This is how much, and the Bible says love gives. I tell people in our church all the time. Those who give, those people, they love more. Because for God so loved the world that He gave. And I want to challenge you today. That these three words, faith, hope, and love, understand them. And for some reason I've just really felt in my spirit to camp on love a little bit. Hope is powerful but hope doesn't move mountains. Hope doesn't heal bodies. Hope doesn't cause things to move in your direction. Hope is a part of the process of faith.

And so hoping and dreaming and reading the Word and letting the Holy Spirit cause you to dream and hope about the future. That's beautiful and it's crucial. Never stop. But then as you walk out in faith, faith is being fully persuaded. That it's mine. It's mine because of the finished work of Jesus. And so faith isn't trying to get God to do something. If I believe enough, God will do this. No. God already gave you everything. Peter teaches us that He gave us all things that pertain to your life, and that'll help you live Godly and righteous. It's all been given to you to do that. And so once you start believing that He loves me so much. It's given. Then you're no longer seeing this reluctant God with His arms crossed saying, "You got to learn a few painful lessons first before I'm going to let this promise be yours".

None of that is even true because He already gave you the promises. And it's just up to you to believe Him. And as you believe, the Bible says this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. So faith is fully persuaded. And when faith speaks, it speaks done. It is done now. Hope, people who pray without faith, they'll pray in hope like, "I'm sure hoping and praying God. I'm sure hoping that things are going to work out God. I'm hoping that You're going to do something here". And those prayers aren't effective. Hope is to be used as you meditate in the Word and be praying, "Holy Spirit, thank You, for helping me see your Word and to dream big and to see this finished work. Holy Spirit, lead me and guide me into all truth".

And the hope just keeps growing because faith goes and gets what hope sees. Hope sets the bull's-eye. Hope sets the goals. But then when faith, man, when faith just rises up, it's a done deal. I'm fully persuaded. Someone say, "When is that"? You'll know, as you feed on the Word and you meditate on the Word, and you speak God's Word. God's Word says, God's Word says, then you're no longer moved by what you see. You're moved by the stunning incredible powerful Word of God. And I want to challenge you to do that.

You know, Peter walked on the water because Jesus said come. And because Jesus said come, then that word from God is enough to believe and he walked on the water. But when he got his eyes on the waves and the wind and he began to listen to his, his senses, okay. He immediately had fear in the middle of a situation and began to sink. He cried out to Jesus. Jesus grabbed him. I don't believe Jesus carried him back to the boat. I believe he rose to his feet because his focus was now on Jesus again. I want to challenge you, listen to this over and over. And make sure that you are actually praying in faith because so many people aren't. They're praying in hope and hope is not what we pray in.

Hope is something that we nurture and grow with the Word of God, Holy Spirit, our imagination, dream big. But then feed your faith, starve your fears, and see that the finished work of the cross is he's already given it to you. When that becomes this, this revelation which doesn't take long. Man, you begin to operate in a life where the Bible says that, you know, the disciples asked Him, increase our faith. And He said whosoever shall say to this mountain, "Be removed, be cast into the sea," and doesn't doubt in his heart, but believe what he saith shall come to pass, he'll have whatever he says. Practice that.
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