Hope vs. Faith

This weekend, I was rocking my nephew to sleep and I was praying over him to be blessed and that God would put people around him so that he would have every opportunity to know God. He was struggling a bit and I prayed for God to let sleep fall upon him. I have prayed for sleep many times and gotten it, so I have faith that when I ask for sleep, I will receive it. If I don’t, then something else is going on. When I was praying for my nephew though, it dawned on me that I didn’t have faith, but rather hope. I hoped God would answer that prayer instead of having faith that He would.

So, I was driving to work Monday when God asked what is hope. The phrase “things hoped for” came to mind as well as the question why is faith different.

So why are the two words used so much in the Bible?

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

That is the complete verse that God brought to my mind. So what is hope?

The best way I have seen hope defined is as a belief or desire that the best will occur. I hope to win the lottery or hope that I will be cured of a disease. Almost everyone has some degree of hope in their life. Who doesn’t want the best to happen to them or to someone they know and love? People lose hope when the situation appears that there is no chance that the best can occur or after being disappointed repeatedly. Hope has no security or promise.

Faith is the assurance or confidence of things hoped for. You can only get assurance or confidence in something when it is based on something else. I can hope you will do what you promised to do and have faith in you that you will keep your word. Faith is dependant upon the guarantor completing what was promised.

1 Pe 1:21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

We hope that God will do what He says He will do. Our faith is in God because we have learned that He does what He promises to do. If we stand on the promises in the Bible, we can be sure that God will fulfill those. We don’t know how, but we know that He will. That is how our faith is tested and strengthened.


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