Faith vs. Hope

Now abides faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Audrey and Susan were waiting after school for Susan's father to pick them up for dance class. He was late. Audrey glanced at her watch. "I sure hope he remembers," she said. Susan smiled. "I know he will. He's my dad and if he said he will do it, he will do it." Audrey had hope; Susan had faith, and according to this verse they are not the same.

We know what love is because verses 4-11 of this chapter tell us. But faith and hope are often mistaken for each other. Hope is an expectation that propels us forward into unknown territory. We hope we are getting a raise, passing an exam, or making the team. But hope has no foundation other than our desire for a certain outcome. Faith, however, is built upon the trustworthiness of something outside ourselves. 

Hope stirs the desire; faith grabs hold of it until it is realized. We need them both to have a relationship with God. Hope causes us to look up in expectation that there is a God who loves us and offers to save. Faith takes hold of His truth and refuses to let go. Hope is a wish; faith is an action. Hope says, “I believe that God loves me and offers eternal life.” Faith says, “I am placing my life and future in His hands.”
 Is your relationship with God based purely on hope? Only faith can save you (Hebrews 11:6).

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