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Bible Q

What is the difference between faith and hope?

Well, Hebrews 11:1 says

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

So, faith is the next step up from hope: being really sure. You can certainly hope for things without being sure they will come to pass, but having faith means being sure. (Bit embarrassing then, if you have faith in the wrong thing…)

But I’m not convinced we should understand the words in this way everywhere. Take, for instance, 1 Peter 1:21:

Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

I don’t think that you can easily understand this verse using the simple definitions from Hebrew 11:1. So faith and hope are closely related, and faith is stronger than hope, more sure, but it’s hard to be definitive about the difference.

8 Replies to “What is the difference between faith and hope?”

  1. Hope arises from desire. It is an “expectation” that what we want will happen, and we look forward patiently without giving up.

    “… but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” -Romans 8:24-25

    In contrast, faith is “being sure” of what we hope for will actually happen.

    “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” -Hebrews 11:1

    A strong faith can do unbelievable things.

    “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” -Matthew 17:20

    Thus, faith is stronger than hope, and hope without faith is nothing.

    A closely related, but a more powerful concept than both faith and hope is “love”.

    “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13

  2. Hope waits for the promise but faith goes for the promise.
    Hope observes and acknowledges faith apprehends and acts.
    Hope says it will happen faith says it has happened.
    Hope says I will have it Faith says I have it.

  3. With faith, I know that in all my endeavours (Hopes) for 2012, I will succeed through My Mother Mary and Her Son, Jesus.

  4. If we are born again faith will always go back to the cross, while hope will go forward from the cross. Faith is simply believing what God has already said and done. Hope believes what he will do. We can not have true biblical hope without first having biblical faith. This is why the hebrew writer can say ” Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen”

  5. I am a writer and plan on using the names Faith, Hope, and Charity as characters in my book, giving them their respective personalities. I do a lot of research for my stories but I don’t think a single page has been more helpful than this one in understanding the dynamics of my characters. Thank you all so much. I appreciate your support.