Monday, January 9, 2012

Faith and Hope

Hebrews 11:1-3 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

I always have the toughest time wrapping my head around the differences between faith and hope. After being a Christian for so many years, I can see how my faith has continued to grow stronger, and my hope is more and more “confirmed.” My “hope” is way more than just wishful thinking, but rather the thing that I move towards because it does give me hope. I see it as more of the “light at the end of the tunnel.” The longer I go through life (the tunnel), the closer I get to the end of it - the bigger the light becomes. See? Not so easy to explain.

While I was on a trip with my husband, I came up with an interesting example to put this into some perspective. After a few sleepless nights, and one long day of traveling, my hope was to have a great night’s sleep in a nice hotel. There were reservations, and we knew the hotel existed, but we still had to get there.

While navigating through unknown territories, we have come to rely on things like GPS systems. And we put a good amount of faith in these things – blindly following their directions. But the more we use them successfully, the more faith we have in them – with the hope of getting us to our destinations. God’s word, as well as His Holy Spirit, is like our spiritual GPS system.

So this hotel – we knew it existed because we had caught “glimpses” of it from their website. But even as we neared it physically, we still could not see it from the road – even as the GPS system said “Your destination is on the right. You have arrived!” Looking to the right, all we could see was a gas station and a restaurant. But obeying the command, we made the right-hand turn, and only THEN could we see that it was indeed there. The driveway’s entrance was tucked in between the two other buildings.

Had we doubted the GPS system and instead trusted in our own wisdom and thinking, we would have driven right past it. Just so, I am continually grateful to God who gives us “hope” - glimpses of “heaven” through creation, His word and evidences of how He faithfully works in our lives. When we sincerely search for truth, we just have to learn to have faith that God’s GPS system will bring us right to it!