The Difference Between Hope and Faith in Life Change

If you’re new to Life Compass, on Sundays I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics.  Here’s why.

Recently I heard some people use the words “hope” and “faith” interchangeably when they were talking about making change in their lives.   As they were talking, I began to wonder…are hope and faith really the same?  Here are my thoughts so far…

  1. Hope doesn’t require any belief on my part that my life or situation can change.  For example, I can hope the Detroit Lions will have a winning season this year, but I don’t believe it will happen.  I think faith requires belief that things really can be different.
  2. Hope doesn’t require me to take any action – I can just wait on others and hope they make things happen.  Again, I can hope the Lions win, but I cannot do a thing to make it happen.  I think faith requires that I do all that is within my power first…and then wait on others.
  3. Hope doesn’t require that I take any particular posture.  I can hope that the Lions win, but I don’t have to go to a game, buy their merchandise, or watch the games on TV.  I think faith requires that I have a posture of expectancy.

In Mark 6:5, we read an account of Jesus in his home town of Nazareth.  The scripture tells us that he wasn’t able to do great miracles in that town because the people had no faith.

In other towns, people believed that Jesus could do something about their situation.  But not in Nazareth – they didn’t believe in Jesus at all.  In other towns people took action and brought their sick to Jesus for healing.  But not in Nazareth – there is no mention of anyone being brought to Jesus.  In other towns people took on a posture of expectancy that things could change.  But not here in Nazareth.  They expected no big miracles and they received no big miracles.

What about you, friend?  Do you think there’s a difference between hope and faith with regard to life change?  Please take a moment to share your thoughts.

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