In hope she believed against hope


Lately, I have been on a "hope" rollercoaster. My faith in God makes me believe I need to have "more faith" I need to have "hope," but is it even real for me? Am I forcing myself to "have hope" and "keep my faith?" I've had faith and hope in things; all those months and years of hope and faith for certain areas in my life were real, but now, in this present moment in time I've lost hope.


It's been a couple of weeks now that I've lost hope for something. I'm beginning to feel like something just isn't for me, that God is keeping something away from me for a reason. What reason, you might be wondering? I do not have the answer for that right now. But during this time I am exploring: what is faith and hope anyway? What is the difference? What is necessary? When does it count? What makes it real for me?

(Before, faith to me meant having this one directional channel of constant focus on God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Of having true focus and belief in God's power. To know and believe that His ways are higher, He is greater, and He knows all things. Hope to me meant wishing something were as they weren't; to long for an unreality. Hope to me meant an end-goal -- a far away dream.)

As I tried to clutter my mind with nonsense I came across one of my favorite podcasts that I have been avoiding (I didn't want to hear another message on "have faith," blah blah). But the title attracted me: "Get Your Hopes Up - Part 1" by John & Lisa Bevere. I knew I had to listen to it because I had literally just told my husband that I don't want to get my hopes up on something.

I followed along to John and Lisa's conversation and took notes:
  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Faith is the building materials and hope is the blueprint
  • Hope is a confident expectation that something will happen
  • A lot of times people don't want to hope because they don't want to be disappointed
  • God is the God of hope (Romans 15:13)
  • Keep your imagination uncluttered
  • Romans 4:18-22
I had my definitions for "faith" and "hope" all tangled. I need to have hope, but a concrete hope that outlines where my faith can fit in; hope that builds. To me, I think hope must come first. What do I hope for? I need to then be confident and expect this thing to happen -- it doesn't have to be a far away dream. I've been afraid to have real hope because I didn't want to be disappointed; but I've been feeling disappointed a lot lately anyway.

I don't need my hope back, I need a new hope. I didn't have a blueprint in mind, I had a mess. God is teaching me a new thing; a new way of seeing and believing. This is a new journey for me so any words of wisdom or encouragement would be greatly appreciated! Have you gone through a similar experience?

Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.
— Ephesians 1:18-19

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
— Romans 15:13

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
—  Hebrews 11:1

Comments

  1. Great post. So honest and real. I think our hope and faith has to be in God moving for good on our behalf more than on things turning out exactly as we expect them to. The word says that those that put their trust in God will not be put to shame (or disappointed). The most solid place of trust is in God's goodness and care for us. I've learned this lesson over many years of God giving me something other than I was asking for - despite my hope and faith in it. Now when I pray I remember that He may answer that prayer differently than I thought but He WILL answer it. And I immediately bring my disappointment to Him. Then He comforts me and reminds me that He knows best, So your hope and faith are always in God and His love and goodness toward us; not in the answer. Be encouraged Katherine and meditate on scriptures of how He cares for us. One of my favorite, but I can't recall off hand where it is, says that God is concerned over all things concerning us. xoxoxo

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    1. Wonderful points, Regina!! Thank you so much for sharing. I will keep this in my heart.

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  2. I love reading your blogs (when I read them)- they are very thought provoking and address things a lot of us are probably already thinking about anyway. Kind of makes me consider making my own blog

    As somebody who could very much identify with the first line about feeling an unrelenting need to have “more faith”- one thing I have realized over the past three years is we don’t have faith “in things” or “for things” or in “areas of our life”- we put our faith and our hope and in Christ, that he is enough for us, that he’s with us and his will will be done in in our lives. Faith isn’t some force that we summon to control and direct the power of God as we see fit, it’s not a stick of dynamite that we use to blast through mountains, it’s more like a flash light that we use to follow the path that God has set out for us through the mountains and wilderness of life. And I think that’s significant because I think there are a lot of Christians, and I was this type of person for many years before, who might think “well if my life isn’t going a certain way it must be because I didn’t have enough faith, it must be because wasn’t reading the bible enough or praying enough” and it really becomes a form of works based salvation where spiritual disciplines (“faith building”) become work.

    Another point I want to make is the passage on which your title is based, Romans 4:18- “(Abraham) who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken” is significant and unique because it’s referring to Abraham’s hope that a specific promise God MADE to HIM would be fulfilled- that he would become the “father of many nations, according to what was spoken.” There were times in my life when certain things looked grim or discouraging and I would quote only the first half of this passage over myself and say “Contrary to hope, in hope I’ll believe (such and such) is going to happen” not realizing that, God never appeared to me as he did to Abraham told me “I’m going to make a you a millionaire by 30” or “I’m going to make you the right fielder for the Yankees”- and Abraham didn’t say “I want to be the father of many nations because that’s what I want and I’m just going to keep hoping and believing until it happens”- Abraham was TOLD it WOULD happen, and he choose to cling to that promise even when circumstances (his wife being 90 years old and himself being 100) made that seem unlikely. So we can have hope that God is with us and will direct our lives as he sees fit, but I’m not sure it’s possible to have faith for a specific outcome the way Abraham did, given that I don’t think God appears to anybody as clearly and explicitly as he appeared to Abraham back then.

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    1. You are so kind, thank you for reading and I am so glad to hear you enjoy my posts.

      Thank you so much for sharing your insight and experiences, I found it very encouraging to hear.

      It's true, faith is not equivalent to works (if it were, why would the Bible say faith without action is dead in James 2:17). Works can exemplify a person's faith but it's not the faith itself. And I think that was the point of hoping against hope; Abraham didn't have his faith in the thing that will happen, he had his faith on God -- the creator of the thing that was promised.

      I think when God says something is going to happen that you didn't even want or could believe in happening is when our faith grows, it's when we get to see His faithfulness and believe in His promises.

      God appears to each of us in particular unique ways, because we each are unique. It's about listening to His voice for yourself, and He speaks so that you can hear it.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this with me! It was so good. Having hope and faith isn't easy, most people skip out on it, but the rewards for having hope and faith in our God is unmeasurable. I pray that God give you hope that you can hold on to and walk it out in faith.

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    1. Thank you, Annetta, for the kind and encouraging word. Yes, He is faithful in His rewards!

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