Solid Foundation

Hope, belief, faith. What are they? Why does it matter?

“There’s a 50% chance of rain tomorrow, but I hope it holds off until after the picnic.” It can simply be a wish. It can also mean an aspiring dream… or a fanciful pipe dream. It can be a lifelong aspiration that one longs to attain. There is quite a broad range of definitions in the English language. It seems half the synonyms are fanciful and half are more applicable.

Greek and Hebrew words for hope have broader and richer meaning and yet, more narrowly defined. In Greek, it is a welcomed anticipation, a trusted expectation in which one is confident of. Hebrew is also more concrete, concrete as an expectation one can bind themselves to and have an earnest expectation that a promise is something that one can wait confident in its fulfillment. Hope against all hope, I suppose.

Belief in English is pretty much synonymous with hope and faith. In Greek, believing is actively trusting, having the confidence to act in harmony with because something actually exists. In Hebrew, it is a statement that is true, trustworthy, reliable, a persuasion developed through the discussion of the facts, and it is something “…to securely trust and rely upon” an “active trust.” Belief is very much linked to hope in something concrete, a steady mooring.

Faith is so very similar to both hope and belief in that it “reveals a life of full reliance upon complete trust or confidence in someone or something,” a reliable anchor keeping the ship from drifting. One can debark the ship and safely return since that anchor is devoted to keeping the boat exactly where you left it. In the Hebrew, it is the same as something steady and trusted, a solid hope and belief experienced in life. Active, too, with a common Greek suffix added, faith becomes faithfulness adding personal responsibility for action and interaction, to apply, to live out what one believes.

All things considered, in the Bible, let’s not forget that all these things are applied, not by duty, but by love — brotherly love and unreciprocated, unconditional, charitable, unrequited, agape love. In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul exhorts to hope, to believe, and to have faith in Jesus and to be faithful to His words, to be anchored to this principle: “… these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” is from the Gospel Hymn “Nothing but the Blood.” As both Bible and Biology affirm, a person’s life is dependent upon blood coursing through their bodies. Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible claims, the shedding of His own blood, atones for all human failings, making whoever comes to Him, in true repentance, right with God. It is His righteousness, not our own. It is His free gift. Yet, a person has only to reach out and accept it. Contrarily, it is not within anyone’s reach to obtain by working for it, by earning it by “being good.” No twisting oneself into a pretzel. No self flagellation. No self righteousness, either. A gift provided by love, agape love — “This is in contrast to philia, brotherly love, or philautia, self-love, as it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance.” (Wikipedia) Regardless. It transcends and persists. And as my previous post searches for a proper understanding of faith, hope, and love, it is a solid truth, not a vaporous mirage. It is a fact of life one can rely on, one can live out, and a very real and truthful personal interaction. My hope is a home built on a solid foundation.

What a Friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge —

Take it to the Lord in prayer;

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer;

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,

Thou wilt find a solace there.

Written by Charles Crozat Converse

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Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between

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D L Henderson

D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between

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