1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV (13) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Notice in his teaching on love, Paul states there are three spiritual forces that will last forever: faith, hope, and love.
- In saying it this way, Paul tells us that there is a difference in hope and faith.
Hebrews 11:1 NKJV Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 GW Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.
There are a lot of people who think they are operating in faith but they are not. However, they may be experiencing something good because they are operating in hope and hope is a very powerful thing.
Hope does have some limitations.
Faith and hope DO work together and ARE connected.
- Hope is a positive expectation of something happening in the future.
“I see good coming to me. Something good is going to happen to me this week…”
- Hope is like a blueprint.
It is not the building; it is the expectation of the building. Hope is the ability to imagine what is going to happen. This is where you start.
Romans 4:16-18 NKJV Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (17) (as it is written, “I HAVE MADE YOU A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS”) in the presence of Him whom he believed–God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; (18) who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”
- Hope is the blueprint. Faith is the construction crew.
Faith is the force that makes it happen.
Faith is like an invisible construction team; a team that works while you are at home asleep and does not want you watching them work but yet you show up each day and are amazed at how much has gotten done behind the scenes.
- Faith works in the invisible arena where God lives.
Romans 4:19 NKJV (19) And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
- You will not be able to stay strong in faith if you continue to look at the natural negative circumstances.
If you look at the natural negatives, you will talk yourself out of the promises that God has made to you.
Abraham DID NOT CONSIDER his body.
Some think that God always works in measurable degrees. He may work either way: with a “suddenly” or over time. In other words you may pray, and things get worse instead of better. The news may not always conform to what God has said.
He does not deny it. He refuses to focus on it.
Romans 4:20-21 NKJV He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, (21) and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Who was it that fully persuaded Abraham? Did God do it? Who then persuaded Abraham? Abraham persuaded Abraham.
- You and I have the responsibility to persuade ourselves to believe what God has already said.
- Abraham grew in his faith and became persuaded by constantly giving God praise for the answer.
Mark 11:22-24 NKJV So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. (23) For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (24) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
- Faith reaches over into that other realm and grabs hold of the answer.
When we pray, we are tying our faith around the answer. The only thing that connects us to the things we pray is our faith.
Do I have it in my hands? No, but I have it by faith.
Hope says I will get it someday. Faith says that I have it now. Hope does not connect me to the answer but faith is my connection.
The Bible tells us that there is another force that works with faith called patience.
Hebrews 6:12 NKJV that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:12 MSG Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
- Patience is what pulls what we have believed for toward us. It is remaining constant during that time.
Hebrews 10:35 NKJV Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
The enemy is a master that will try and get you to let go ahead of what you have already laid hold by faith.
Have you ever realized that when someone would receive from Jesus or get healed or get their miracle that we really don’t have any record of Jesus running, shouting, or even dancing a little bit?
The reason for that is when you live the life of faith every day, you are grateful every day that God’s promise is true to you. Jesus rejoiced at His time of prayer in the middle of the night.
People on the Price is Right get so excited when they get picked and perhaps win something because they are hoping that they will get picked and it is a surprise to them that they do.
People of faith should never be surprised when God answers their prayer because we believe that it is already done. When you operate in faith every day becomes a day of rejoicing and excitement and not surprise.
When you get this way, you become a person that Satan cannot mess with and does not know what to do with you.