Bold Faith Stands on the Shoulders of Quiet Hope
Living in a constant state of Hope and Gratitude causes Faith to be substantial and to bring into being what we hoped for. Here’s a good state of hope to live in:
Lord, You will establish shalom (peace, prosperity) for me, for You have also done all my works for me (Isaiah 26:12).
As long as I’ve been a Christian, I have heard arguments about Faith and Hope, disparaging the value of one or the other of these two words. There are those who want to throw Hope in the garbage bin. Others say faith is impossible, all we can possibly do is hope. I listen to such debates with fear and trembling because they are challenging the Word of God! Friend! Don’t ever challenge the Word of God; instead, spend your time studying and discovering the value of whatever it has to say!
I do appreciate the verse from Isaiah that I quoted. Personally (now this is just Marty speaking her mind), I find “shalom” to be the Old Testament version of “grace.” Both terms cover everything a body could need. God did not create us in heaven, then throw us over His shoulder so that we’d land on earth to do whatever we could to scratch out a living. No, He put everything in place for us, meeting our needs according to the age in which we were born, and now has sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into finding all the treasures God created for our individual lives.
So, what is the difference between hope and faith? After all, we are on a treasure hunt. And who doesn’t like a treasure hunt? Take a look at Hebrews 11:1 — Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Notice that neither faith nor hope can be witnessed because they can’t be seen. Yet the word “substance” indicates something one can touch, taste, feel, hear, or smell. Substance means “material, matter, ingredient, element, property, money, essence,” to name a few definitions. We must conclude that hope is somewhat ethereal, while faith is somewhat substantial. In fact, hope can be defined as otherworldly, airy, fragile, delicate, wraithlike.
That is exactly how I see hope. It is wispy, ungrounded and must be carefully attended to. We don’t want hope to fly away, so we keep it close to our hearts. Hope is a state of being that can only be imagined. Faith, on the other hand, can come into being only when hope has been well established. Let me explain. When I want something from the Lord, He always asks me to write it out and be explicit. I can never assume what route He will take to supply my wants, so I use my imagination, and I do my best to live in hope that what I want is on its way. When I am actually living in hope, faith comes and stands on the shoulders of my hope. It weighs more than hope, and slowly but surely hope sinks into the ground of my being, and faith takes over.
Faith requires words. I see myself as having what I hoped for, and I live as if I already have it. I apply my words to the project, usually not in anyone’s hearing but the Lords and mine. That’s why we are taught to say, “It’s mine, I take it now.” But those who hear us operating in faith like that, well, for the most part, they will throw cold water on the hot coals of our faith. We can speak our own words of encouragement. We all know that God created the universe by speaking words but let me show it to you.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made…. 9 For He spoke and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6, 9).
Now, He created us in His image. Do you think our words may also have power? The Bible tells us that we believe, therefore we speak. Hope is what builds us to the point of believing so that Faith can come right in the front door, so to speak. That’s why we choose our words carefully. It’s like a three-beat waltz: hope, faith, have; hope, faith, have; hope, faith, have.