Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of faith, hope and trust in the heavenly Father.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Meaning of Faith, Hope and Trust in the heavenly Father.
"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew, Chapter 11, Verse 29
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some further insights into the meaning of faith, hope, and trust in the heavenly Father. It is fitting at this junction to talk about these qualities and to look at their validity in light of the awful tragedy that is occurring in Haiti as a result of an earthquake. How shall we explain this tragedy in light of the truth that God is love? In order to make any kind of sense of this, we must first understand the nature of our relationship with the Father, and the nature of the divine plan for our lives.
First, we were created material and mortal. This fact means that we are subject to all material forces that interact with us. At some point, our mortal selves are destined to perish. But we are also more than mortal. There is something growing within us that is immortal. And this immortal self is our souls. These souls come into being within our mortal minds when we make our first moral decision. The heavenly Father’’s spirit participates in this creation and then takes up residence within our minds and souls to recreate us spiritually.
It is the divine plan for our lives that we live this mortal life, with its ups and downs. The Father uses these experiences to reveal himself to us and through us to our brothers and sisters. With each of these experiences, the Father portrays the righteous attitude alongside the purely human attitude. It gives us a chance and a choice to choose Him and his way. When we choose the Father’’s way, we choose Him, and in choosing Him, we become a little bit more like he is, and little less of what we were like. It is the divine plan that we be guided through the mortal life, not delivered from its difficulties.
Our relationship with the heavenly Father is spiritual. Therefore must we redefine the meaning of faith and trust and our hope with Him. When we say we have faith in God, what do we really mean? Do we mean that our faith in him is justified because we expect him to deliver us from the ups and downs of a mortal existence? Or do we mean that our faith in Him is because he guides and directs us through this life and insures that we continue to survive on a higher level of existence? Or is it a combination of both? We expect him to deliver us from the difficulties of the material life because we believe that he has the power to do so, or, failing that, he will resurrect us on a higher level when all things earthly fail.
We are material beings, and it is only natural that our faith in God be based upon material considerations, since our faith status is just that: a faith status. The fact that our conscious status is faith- based does not invalidate the spiritual reality of our status. It just means that as so far as our conscious minds are concerned, since we can’’t know this spiritual reality in material terms, we must accept our spiritual status by faith.
We are taught that God is love. Mortals are material and are selfish. When we behold humans of animal origin showing mercy and compassion to their less fortunate brothers and sisters, this mercy and compassion is the revelation of the Father’’s love. Since purely material beings would not ordinarily show this mercy and compassion, it follows that at the very least we are being motivated by the heavenly Father to respond this way. And it is this demonstration of love in our affairs that justify our faith, trust and hope in the heavenly Father. The problems of a material existence are real, but they must be separated from the function of the heavenly Father in our lives. The heavenly Father is seeking to spiritualize our minds and souls so that we develop a spiritual point of view for life, and respond to that spiritual point of view of life spiritually, just as we see happening at this time as the world mobilizes to unselfishly help this unfortunate country.
We must continue to work to understand the world we live in, and act accordingly to that understanding. This acting accordingly to our understanding will alleviate a lot of mortal suffering, but it will not change the fact of our mortality. At some point of time, we must move to the next stage of existence and that can only happen when we shed these mortal bodies. This is a bitter pill to swallow for those left behind, and for those who have not developed a spiritual interpretation of life.
But something in us maintains that despite material disasters God is good. This teaching to our souls comes from the presence of the heavenly Father’’s spirit. It gives rise to hope, faith, and trust. These divine qualities persists in the face of the vicissitudes of mortal existence. Some have maintained that these are unwarranted and prevent us from adjusting to the tragedy of human existence. They maintain that we should learn to appreciate the life we have and enjoy it to the maximum while we can. They maintain there is no divine help for humans other than they help they are able to generate themselves. They maintain that sorrow, disappointment, pain, and suffering are a part of the human lot. But it is their failure to recognize their spiritual birthright that leads to this pessimistic view of life. Yes, we are material beings subject to the vicissitudes of a mortal existence, but we are so much more, which must be approached by faith, grasped by faith, and realized by faith. Ultimately this ability and willingness to grasp our spiritual heritage is a test of our ability to survive this mortal existence.
Faith, hope and trust arise in our minds and souls. It is up to us to allow it to reign in our lives. We can choose the Father’’s will or we can choose our will. The Father is sharing this mortal existence with us, and this is his encouragement to us: to continue to fight the good fight of faith, to continue to strive to master our material environments and ourselves. At some point, material environments will gain stability, but in the meantime, the Father uses all of this material instability to reveal Himself to us. Though being little spiritual children, we often fail to recognize him in the midst of tragedy. We are blinded by our material hopes and desires, so blinded that we fail to recognize His divine presence.
The Father is a spiritual being, and his spirit lives within us. Therefore when the Father manifests himself, he does so by spiritual means, just as when we manifest ourselves we do so by material means. There is a disconnect in our understanding: Spirit reveals spirit by spiritual means; material reveals material by material means. The presence of indestructible faith, hope, and trust in our minds and souls is the presence of the heavenly Father. When we experience these divine qualities, we are in truth experiencing the heavenly Father. The Father is living love, and all of these divine qualities are a part of that living love. The Father loves us and seeks to guide and direct us through this material life. As we live this material life, choosing the Father’’s will over our own, our souls grow, and we become even more conscious of these divine revelations of faith, trust and hope.
It is the divine plan that we recreate ourselves spiritually and then transfer our consciousness to this new spiritual creation when the material mechanism fails. This divine plan has been in operation every since mortal man was created. From the material point of view, it does not appear to be a good plan, but when interpreted from the spiritual point of view, it is a marvelous and glorious plan that we will appreciate one day when we mature spiritually. Until then, rather than doubting the Father’’s goodness, we should follow the leading of our faith and understand that nothing can really harm us.
Mortal dissolution is a part of the divine plan, whether it happens naturally or by accident. Rather than despair over this absolute fact, we should try to identify more and more with our spiritualizing selves, our true selves, and we should recognize his revelations of himself to us through all of these adverse events. And we should recognize his spiritual presence in the forms of faith, trust, and this irrepressible hope that refuses to die in our souls and minds. Yes, the heavenly Father is good, notwithstanding that he does not rescue us from the circumstances of our existence. As material beings we are subject to the laws governing material reality; as spiritual beings we are subject to the liberating laws of the spirit. We are free to love; and no material disaster can prevent that.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of faith, hope and trust in the heavenly Father. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.