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.
Hope expresses our life with God in the future for eternity. Every verse in the bible that describes God's promises and plans for our future is included in the bible to give us Hope. Here are a few examples: Our Resurrection from the dead 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to 5:11 We have the sure and certain hope of the resurrection from the dead and salvation from the wrath of God on the Day of the Lord because of our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. We will live with God for eternity in the New Earth Revelation 21:1 -27 We have the sure and certain hope that we will live for eternity in the very presence of God in the perfect new earth that Jesus will create, because, by faith, we believe our names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Faith expresses our life with God today and everyday. Every verse in the bible that describes what God is doing (his sovereignty) or will do (his promises) for us each day are given to strengthen our faith. Here are a few examples. Jesus is always with us to guide and protect us Matthew 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We are saved because we accepted Jesus as our Saviour and Lord Romans 10:9-13 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." God gives us the wisdom to make the right decisions James 1:5-8 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." When our Christian life in this world becomes so difficult that it threatens to shake our faith in God, our hope in God will be the secure anchor that will keep our thoughts focused on his promises and our lives aligned with his will.
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