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Faith and Hope

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

This week's post features Josh Lueken. Josh has served on our year round staff since Februrary of 2021 as part of our Youth Ministry Team, specifically partnering with Hope Lutheran in Everly, Iowa. This summer he served as one of our Program Directors based at our Okoboji location. Our summer program directors at each location play a key role in guiding our campers through their time at camp. When asked how God worked in his life this summer, this is what Josh had to share.

Hello, my name is Joshua Lueken and I just completed the summer working as a Program Director at the West Lake Okoboji location for IOLBC. This role involved a lot of late nights and early mornings to make sure each week of camp would run smoothly. Each day was filled with many responsibilities from leading games and activities to helping the campers, counselors, and support staff with whatever they needed. Through it all I never really thought much about what I needed. However, one thing God showed me I needed this summer was faith.

At the beginning of the summer I had an approximate idea of what I'd have to do for my role from my previous experience serving on summer staff. However, the idea of being a leader for the summer staff and campers made me hesitant and caused me to doubt I could lead well. I doubted my leadership abilities, doubted I was enough to do what was expected of me, and I even had doubts when it came to my faith. All of these doubts were weighing heavy on my mind during staff training. Our speaker for staff training, Pastor Jon Anenson, spoke of how Jesus gives us a hope to share with other people. He encouraged us to be an overflowing well of hope. This idea of being an overwhelming well of hope got me thinking about the relationship between hope and faith.

How are hope and faith connected? The dictionary defines hope and faith as such: Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something or a belief not based on proof. I once heard the phrase “Faith speaks for the NOW in life, and hope speaks of the FUTURE.” When people have hope they have faith because they hold to the saying “I believe the future will be better.” While they have no evidence to demonstrate this “hopeful” belief, they have faith in it. As we walk our spiritual growth journey, there comes a point where our hope advances to faith.

After I was challenged to overflow with hope, I began to have hope for how the summer would turn out. I hoped I could be a leader for my fellow staff members. I hoped I could be part of making each week an amazing experience for the campers. I hoped I would be a good fit for my position. At some point over the course of the nine weeks of summer camp programs at Okoboji, I found that I was not longer relying on hope. Instead, I found I was relying on faith. I had faith God would work through me to accomplish what he had called me to for this summer. I had put my trust in Him and my doubts began to diminish with each passing week of camp. The doubts which once clouded my mind were nothing more than a distant memory.

Now I see how hope is the seed from which the roots of faith are able to grow and form a foundation in our lives. So the challenge I pose to you is to forget about your doubts and moments of defeat and to start living by hope and faith. Allow faith to strengthen through hope and live in our hearts, minds, and souls.

Follow Up:

- Everyone, at some point, has doubted themselves, their ability to do the work they know they are called to do, and/or their faith. It's part of being human. When is a time when you have had to face your doubts? How did you overcome your doubts?

- What roles do hope and faith play in your life?

- Want to dive into our summer theme for 2021? You can check out our blog series focusing on each of our 5 daily theme verses or our Bible study available online or through our BEYOND App (available in both the App Store and on Google Play by searching “IOLBC”).


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