IS IT FAITH OR IS IT REALLY HOPE? - by Pastor Darius Good

I have a cousin that I am close with that I did not get to spend much time with growing up. He grew up in Iowa and I grew up in CT. So that presented a major problem in relation to the amount of time we were around each other. But whenever people would see us they said we looked alike and acted alike. People think we are brothers. But we are only first cousins. We are in the same family and we act alike but we come from two different places.

If I had to describe faith in relation to hope I would have to say they are in the same family. They are so similar that they are often mistaken one for the other. When I talk to people who are trusting and believing God for something I have often heard this phrase; "I am standing in faith." This has become such a common phrase among the church. But many people that say they are in faith are really in hope. I would like to clarify what faith is in comparison to hope. Let's look for a moment at the relationship between faith and hope.
 
​Romans 8:24 (KJV) 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?

Ephesians 2:8 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

We are saved by hope and we are saved through faith. So both hope and faith are apart of our salvation process.

Romans 8:25 (KJV) But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith and hope deal with waiting for something that can not be seen with the eye. Both deal with believing in the heart and confidently knowing what I am waiting for will come to past. Do you see the similarities between the two? So let's go deeper so that we can see a clear distinct differences between the two.

HOPE...

Hebrews 6:19 (KJV) Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Hope is the anchor. Hope keeps our mind (soul) sure (safe, firm certain) and steadfast (stable, firm trusty). So faith is really built upon hope. You can lose faith but still have hope. But when people lose hope they believe everything is lost. Hope is the anchor that keeps us from losing our minds. Notice in this scripture how faith works in relationship to hope.

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hope must be present in order for faith to operate. So hope is the anchor that we attach our faith to.

Romans 8:25 (KJV) But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].
Romans 8:26 (KJV) 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.


Notice the explanation of hope is followed by the explanation that we don't know how to pray as we should. The Holy Spirit comes and becomes our help and makes intercession for us because we don't know how to pray on target. We don't know the right words to say. Notice the next scripture...

Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

So we don't know the right words. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us pray accurate and according to the next verse things eventually work out FOR THE GOOD. What is transpiring is the Holy Spirit is taking what's in our hearts to the Father and they are negotiating and working out what can and can't be done. So we don't get all that we want and ask for but things work out always for the best because God is wise. He'll cut some things off and close some doors and we see later that things really did work out for the best. Faith functions differently than hope.

FAITH...

Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

In order for faith to come you must HEAR from God. Faith begins with God. God must speak for faith to come. So faith comes or begins because I heard a word from God. That word is the promise, it is the plan or strategy that God is saying will come to past.

So people that prayed a prayer and said I have faith because I prayed are not in faith. Faith means I received a response back from God. If you have not heard from heaven then you are in hope. And you will eventually find out if God said yes or no based on how things turn out.

So the difference between hope and faith...Hope is I don't know how to pray as I should. I don't know the right words but I'm putting my trust in God that He will work things out. And I can trust things will work out for my good even if I don't like the outcome.

Faith is I have heard from God and I now know what the outcome will be. And now my confidence is in what the Lord has promised. And I will wait for the promise no matter the length of time because what I am waiting on is worth waiting for. Hope is some way, some how God is going to do it. Faith is the Lord told me what the outcome will be and I know He'll do it because He does what He says.
 

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