Is it Faith or Hope

Faith is an important part of our Christian walk.  If fact without faith we are completely lost.  Hebrews says ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God’. Hebrews 11:6  In a previous post I wrote about what faith is.    The kingdom of God, and everything He wants to do in our lives and those around us requires faith.  But how much faith do we have?  It is a question I have been asking myself recently.  Because Jesus stated that ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20  And so I wondered because I don’t see mountains moving in my life often.  I have prayed for people and seen God do wonders, but most times I pray and like many people nothing happens.   And yet Jesus stated that if we will lay hands on the sick they will recover.

So I began to wonder am I acting in faith?  When I pray for people is it faith driving my actions.  Do I believe God can?  More important do I believe God will?  or do I simply hope God will?  Hope is an important and life changing part of our life with God as well.  Rick Warren stated ‘Without hope in the future there is no power for today.”   Paul wrote that faith hope and love will remain but the greatest is love.  So hope is very important.  But hope on its own is limited.  It is not an endless supply to keep us running endlessly.   Solomon wrote in Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”   So hope can run out and many people today are giving up on following God.  One might wonder if there was just hope and no faith.

Hebrews 11:1 states that faith is the foundation and the substance of hope.  Faith is what allows hope to stay strong, and allows you to carry forward regardless of what your circumstances tell you, when that faith is in God.  Because God is never-changing and His nature is always reliable and He will always do what He says He will.   Abraham is our best example in scripture about walking in faith and he received a promise from God that He would be a father of many nations.  To be a father of many, you have to at least be the father of one, and Abraham had no children.  And yet Abraham believed, or had faith in God, that God’s nature was to fulfill His promises and to do what He said He would do.  And Romans 4:18-21 states Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”  Against all hope Abraham hoped, because his confidence was placed in the nature and character of God and so he was able to consistently hope and walk forward towards the promises of God.

Are you walking in faith, believing and trusting in the nature of God regardless of circumstance or are you just hoping.  Without faith hope will run out.  Many people stop short of God’s promises because their confidence was in their circumstances and situations instead of in the nature and character of God and as a result their hope had no foundation.  Abraham walked forward never wavering in the confidence of God’s nature, even when it came time to sacrifice his son at God’s command.   Abraham was able to respond not because of what he was capable of, but because of God’s nature and what God was capable of.  “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,  even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead…” Hebrews 11:17-19

If you’re reaching out in response to what God has said never waiver when your circumstances don’t agree.  Faith says God is able, God is trustworthy, and God will do what He said.  Peter walked on water because He had faith.  When his view was placed on his circumstances he sunk.  If your simply running on hope you will eventually run out of steam.  But with God all things are possible and you can enter into all that God has for you.


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