As Christians, we are taught that when trials come against us we should pray to God and hope that He’ll take care of things for us. And while taking our problems to God is the right thing to do, we won’t see God’s hand in our situation until we see hope and faith come together.
Hope alone is just wishful thinking. It has no foundation or support and it won’t produce any results. We can buy a lottery ticket and “hope” to win the million dollars, but unless we get insight as to what ticket to buy we’re just wasting our time and our money with wishful thinking.
When we just “hope” that God will hear our prayers we are doing the very same thing – wishing – because there is no foundation or substance to our “hope”. We have no reason to believe that God will hear us, let alone answer our prayers. We literally are at His mercy and “hope” that He will help us.
Webster’s Dictionary defines hope as:
…“to desire with expectation of obtainment”
…” to cherish a desire with anticipation”
Hope is an anticipation that we can have for something or about something, but it does not stand alone. It needs a solid foundation or support to make it real, to make it more than just a wish.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is that foundation or support that the Bible refers to as substance. It’s our trust in God – not in man or even in ourselves, but in God alone. We need to develop our faith and to do that we must know Him, accept His love for us, have a relationship with Him and trust Him to fulfill His promises toward us.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
The only way that we can know God is to study the Bible and really dig deep and learn who Jesus is, why He came to earth and what He accomplished when He died on the cross. We will not know Jesus through what anyone else says or writes. Only the words in the Bible – God’s spoken words – will reveal who Jesus is to us, and when we read the Bible THEN His Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to us.
Luke 10:22 says, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Isaiah 53 explains who Jesus is and in this chapter we learn that Jesus not only took upon Himself all of our sins, but He freed us of the old sinful nature and released us from sickness and disease. He set us free from the curse that was put upon mankind in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve sinned against God and caused the entire human race to be filled with a sinful nature.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born again with a new and clean spirit, but that doesn’t make us perfect – only forgiven. We need to learn everything all over again from God’s perspective. We need to learn who God is and who Jesus is because God is now the Lord over our life; not the devil and not the world.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” … 2 Timothy 2:15
As we grow, we realize that God has everything in control in the world as well as in our individual lives. He is waiting for us to put our trust for every aspect of our life in Him and NOT in the world. We need to focus on Him, and as we study the Bible we develop the substance that hope is built on. Faith.
When hope and faith meet faith and then we act on it, there is nothing that we can’t do. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Our faith in God produces positive results because our hope is no longer wishful thinking; it’s our trust in the name of Jesus to produce positive results.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” … Hebrews 10:23