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?
— 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