Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hope, or is it Faith?

I have a problem with the words hope and faith being used synonymously.  In my mind, the words  hope and faith seem to be at odds with one another.  For a believer to say she "hopes" such and such will happen, she questions whether it will; therefore, her waffling is in contrast to faith.  The Bible tells us that faith is the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."  Because it is impossible to please God without faith, I think believers have to go beyond the "hoping" stage; they have to believe it with certainty as though there can be no doubt. 

Let's look at the word substance in the "substance of things hoped for."  Dictionary.com lists this as one definition of substance:  "the actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality."  I like the last word:  reality.  So, I read that faith is the reality of what we hope for.  Think about that.  We are to accept that what we hope for is reality.  Maybe it has not come to fruition yet, but we are to treat it as though it will. 

Now, let's look at the second half of that verse:  "the evidence of things unseen."  Faith is to be the "evidence," or proof,  of things we haven't seen.  To me, this means we are to take that explanation above one step further:  We are to accept that what we hope for is reality that has not become known to us yet, but not only will it become known to us, but it is already real.  Our attitude is to treat it has already happened.

I suppose this is why I refuse to listen to my mother's negativity, and for the most part, she has stopped such talk around me.  I believe God is going to act on a certain issue in the future; in fact, He is setting things in motion now.  We forget as humans that God has His own timetable; we tend to want what we want when we want it.  So, in *my* mind, the issue is a done deal; I am merely waiting on Him to reveal what He is doing to the rest of us.

This, my friends, is the essence of faith.