1 Corinthians 13:13
ESV - 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
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The modern day concept of hope is like a desire, a wish. One would say, "I hope that it doesn't rain tomorrow". True hope is like an anchor, or a firm solid foundation that we stand on. Christ is our eternal Hope, a sure foundation, our Cornerstone, Rock and Fortress. Our hope is built on something solid, not a wishy-washy desire that would make our life easier or better. Faith is the spiritual element that moves us forward. James says that faith without works is dead. If we have faith for something, than we plan and make provision for it. The faith that we have in Christ is built upon a sure, solid foundation of hope in Christ, His finished work on the cross and His resurrecting power. If we would liken our Christian experience to building a house, than hope would be the foundation, the footings to hold the house firmly in place. Faith would be building the structure, the edifice, remembering that the larger and taller the building, the deeper and stronger the foundation must be. Love is what fills the house, and brings life to the inhabitants, this is why love is the greatest. You can have a great foundation, and a large grand building, but if the inner workings does not have love and life, it's just an empty building, waiting to deteriorate and fall..
Faith and hope are closely inter-linked and cannot be separated. Firstly the difference is with regard to their source. Faith originates in the understanding while hope rises in the will. Secondly it differs with regard to their functions. Faith says what is to be done. It teaches, directs and describes. Hope exhorts the mind to be strong and courageous. Thirdly it differs with regard to their objectives. Faith concentrates on the truth. Hope looks to the goodness of God. Fourthly, they differ in sequence. Faith is the beginning of life before tribulation (Heb.11) and hope comes later and is born of tribulations (Rom.5). Fifthly it differs with regard to the effects. Faith is a judge. It judges errors. Hope is a soldier. It fight against tribulations. Without faith we cannot endure. On the other hand hope without faith is blind rashness and arrogance because it lacks knowledge. By faith we begin,by hope we continue. Hope is the confident expectation of good based on the promises of God's Word, the Bible. As you focus your hope by meditating on the unseen promises of God, faith will spring forth in your heart and you will "know" that you have what you have asked now; even though you can't yet see it. You know in your heart that it is just a matter of time before you receive it. Hope is a confident expectation of future blessedness. Biblical hope is a reality and not a feeling. Faith is by strong conversation through the spirit without doubt, and hope is having the mindset that things will either happen positively. Faith originates with God. Righteous lives by faith. Faith comes from hearing (Rhema) God. Hear the message from God externally and listen to it internally (Rom.10:17). Rom 3:22. A belief is a matter of the mind (John3:16). Faith is an orienting of the whole person in trust. Belief is conceptual. Faith is a matter of character. Faith in God was only real when we believed God and trusting in his promises as God directed. Believing is the response of Faith which comes with God. Trust the Word (Logos)of God. Abraham grew in faith. There were times when his faith was weak. He had Sarah his wife tell a half-truth to save his life (Gen 12:11-20; 20:1-18). He questioned God when he and Sarah did not have children (Gen 15:2-3). He showed weak faith in the case of Hagar (Gen 16:1-4). He offered an alternative to God. He thought it would be impossible for he and Sarah to have children (Gen 17:17-18). But God was patient with Abraham and his faith grew. He had faith, even against hope, and was able to conceive (Rom 4:18-22). He had faith that God could raise Isaac from the dead and so was willing to offer him as commanded (Heb. 11:17-19). The Faith Of Abraham" was not a static faith, but an ever-growing faith that came through being "a friend of God". (Jm 2:23). Apostles reject the belief that keeping the Jewish law is necessary for salvation. Through the witness of the New Testament, God asks for more belief in grace than belief in law. It is loving God in faith, that matters. Faith, hope and love are possible. The Gospel tells us, Faith as gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 13). God loves us and has forgiven us. Amen.
When I was going through a very difficult season friends would often say, " I hope things get better." While that is a nice sentiment what I really needed to hear was " I believe things will get better." I asked them to pray with belief, not hope.....for my situation to change. Like Scot states above most people think of hope as a wish. I have a saying I share with people about the difference between hope and faith (belief). "I believe the sun will come up tomorrow, I hope it doesn't rain." Have solid faith in believing in Christ our Lord and the the things you hope and pray for will be answered according to His Devine will.
Hebrews 11:1King James Version 11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Romans 8 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
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