I am often asked what is the difference between hope and faith? We actually need both hope and faith working in tandem in our lives. Hope is a dream of something that is either wanted or neededâ€”but faith is what turns that dream into a substance or reality. Without hope there is nothing for faith to create a substance from. And without faith, hope is nothing more than just a powerless dream.
Hebrews 11:3 says that â€śThrough faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.â€ť
That scripture didnâ€™t say there was nothing thereâ€”it only said that we couldnâ€™t see it. By Godâ€™s faith and by His word He formed what we couldnâ€™t see into what we could seeâ€”the worlds. When God formed man He formed him in His image. That means that He formed us with the same creative powers that He has. Thatâ€™s why Hebrews 11:1 says that â€śfaith is the substance of thing hoped for and the evidence of things not seenâ€ť.
Faith is intriguing because itâ€™s the creative side of hope. Perhaps thatâ€™s why Hebrews 11:6 says, â€śWithout faith itâ€™s impossible to please Godâ€ť.
Many years ago I met an old Pentecostal preacher that taught me the practical things about living by faith. Each of those lessons has become a guiding light in my path of service.
He told me many stories of how his faith had turned his hope into a needed substance for him and his family. One such story will forever remain my primary example of faith.
He said in his early ministry he was called to take on the pastorate of a small country church that had been vacant for a while.
Most country preachers at that time got little more than a parsonage to live in and maybe a small part of the weekly offering. However, it was customary for the new pastor to get a food pounding on the day he moved in. A food pounding simply meant that all the church folks would share in filling the cabinets of the parsonage with food for the new pastor and his family when they moved in. However in this case the people had not arrived with the food pounding.
As the day went on and it began to get dark, the kids began to cry because they were hungry. The only thing they had in the house was a jar of lard, (or grease), that he wife brought from their last house.
After a while my friend told his wife, â€śYou comfort the kids and Iâ€™m going outside to pray.â€ť The Lord will provide the food as He always does.
In those days in East Texas they didnâ€™t have indoor plumbing so you had to use an outhouse. Also, many of the country homes didnâ€™t have grass in the yard but only hard dirt that was swept with a brush broom. The reason for no grass was because if someone walked to the outhouse at night, they could see by the moonlight if there was a snake on the ground.
My pastor friend went outside and began to walk back and forth in the moonlight praying and asking God for food to feed the kids. He said he must have walked back and forth for an hour praying. After a while he began to stumble over something but kept on walking and praying. He was so engrossed in praying but kept stumbling over what he thought to be a rock. He thought to himself, where did that rock come from because it wasnâ€™t there when I started praying. Finally he reached down to pick up the rock to throw it out of the yard and discovered it was a potato. He said it was the biggest potato he had ever seenâ€”and he knew it was from the Lord. He ran into the house shouting, â€śMama put the grease in the skillet because God has provided!â€ť
That night he and his family gave thanks to God for supplying their needs. Once again God turned their hope into a needed substance through their faith in Him.
I thank you for the gift of hope because without it I would perish. I thank you that through hope I am able to dream dreams of achievements in my personal life as well as my spiritual life. I especially thank you Father for the gift of active faith that causes hope to become a reality. Father you said â€świthout faith it is imposable to please Godâ€ť I want to please you by my faith in you.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries