Thursday, 14 June 2018

Hope and Faith

According to the Oxford dictionary, Hope is the feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. It is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation. Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something and it’s not based on proof.

The bible states in:
Hebrews 11:1 King James Version (KJV), Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Therefore it means that faith is the substance of hope and hope awakens faith. So much has been said about faith and hope. But what is hope and faith? What do we understand when it comes to hope and faith? Do we have hope and faith? How do I keep my faith strong?  I was reading on various articles on faith and hope and I came across one written by Greg Simons entitled *“How faith and hope work together to give you confidence in God* .” What caught my attention was the part he explained that, ‘When we understand God rightly then we can confidently say, “all things are possible with God.” When we rightly understand who God is and continue to grow in this understanding then our faith increases. On the other hand, when we misunderstand who God is, faith wanes and hope is not even in view.’ I also got to understand that one has to know who they are in Christ, to understand who God is and have confidence in His promises. Faith also grows through the revelation of God through the Holy Spirit, coming into agreement with what God is saying and hope then anticipates it into reality. Faith grows out of the word of God: Romans 10:17 King James Version (KJV), ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ As Christians then we should read and meditate on the word of God day and night so as to grow our faith.

 Faith says it is so now and hope says in the future it could happen. So when we talk about faith we talk about now, the present and hope is the future. When you are sick, surely you wouldn’t want healing to come in the future but now, hence with faith one prays, ‘I am healed.’ And when it comes to hope one would say, “I believe I am going to own that Range Rover.” An interesting example of faith in action is that of George Mueller who lived from 1805 - 1898, was running an orphanage and would feed the children at times by faith. The story goes like this:

‘ _The children are dressed and ready for school but there is no food for them to eat, ‘the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as He always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. ‘Mr Mueller, ‘he said, ’last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.’ Soon there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 children._

This is what faith is, believing without a single doubt in the power and greatness of God. I was moved by this story myself and started reflecting on those times I will be like yes, I believe God for something in my life right now, then moments later I here I am doubting  if I am going to go through the situation. I mean, so many of us go through those moments and most we get discouraged along the way if it somethings don't come to pass. The level of faith displayed by George Mueller that day is something I would say Lord, I want to reach that. Faith does not produce results if there is any seed of doubt no matter how small. James 1:6 says, ‘But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.’  As long as you know that the God we serve is almighty and powerful, there is every reason to have confidence in Him and believing everything we ask for with faith is already granted unto us.

One of my favourite books is the 4th Dimension by Dr David Yonggi Cho and he deeply explains how to activate faith in one’s life and I decided to share part of his teaching that helped me understand faith. It helped me understand what people meant when they said to me have faith. Dr Cho noted that there are several steps to make faith usable and experience great results in your life. The first thing is to envision a clear-cut faith goal and it should not be vague. This means that when you ask for something from God, be specific thus he gave an example of a time He prayed to God that he wanted a desk, chair and bicycle. Time passed but didn’t receive any of those things he asked until he had a conversation with God and he was told that he wasn’t specific. So he had to state what kind of desk, chair or bicycle. Same applies in our lives; don’t just ask for a car state the exact model and colour, you want a stand clarify where you want it. Thus he concluded that faith is the substance of clear cut things hoped for, powerful!

For faith to be usable one has to have the burning desire for a goal. That clear cut vivid picture of what you want plus burning desire to have it grows your faith for you to keep on seeing that goal already accomplished. On top of that we need to pray for assurance, clear cut goal—burning desire in your heart—kneel down and pray till you receive assurance. Lastly, we should show evidence of our faith, claim and speak the word of assurance for our word goes out and creates. Thus there is power in the words that come out of our mouths and at all times we should be aware of our thoughts and spoken words. There is power in the tongue, God spoke and the world came into being.

There is a lot to talk about faith and hope, I just touched briefly on it as I wanted to remind and encourage someone out there that faith is the currency to whatever we desire in our hearts and as long as we ask without a doubt all things will be given unto us according to the will of God and our belief in his power, word and greatness. We should not spend our lives wishing if we had this and that, or wishing if we were something we not now. Wishing is like hope without God and with no faith, hope is only a wish. We should have faith that cannot be shaken and our faith will be our currency to all things we hope for in our future. Hope this helped and encouraged someone out there.