If someone had asked me about the distinction between hope and faith 20 years ago, I would have debated that they’re synonymous. Now that I have much more experience under my belt, coupled with various victories, I understand the difference. God has a way of taking care of us and providing everything we need.
Hope is that necessary component that keeps us connected to the Lord, with expectancy, knowing that whatever we ask for, He will provide. I have reflected over the past 10 years of my life, and I noticed an awesome pattern of what God has provided for me.
He has provided me strength and security, protection and healing, love and friendships, confidence and deliverance, and most importantly, fulfilled promises and peace. Because the Lord has provided all of this for me, I have a stronger, renewed hope.
Just when I think the passing storm in my life will be the worst ever, I can rest easy knowing that if God brought me to it, He’ll certainly get me through it! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This scripture speaks to me in so many ways; I have to expect God to carry me through whatever trial or test I face, with a plan to give me hope for my future. In other words, He will provide exactly what I need and it will work out for my good, according to His will.
I am a witness of God’s fulfillment of His promises of hope and how He provided for me. My mother, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, was re-diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004; my little brother was still in high school and my sister was away in college. Where was I living at the time? In Cincinnati, Ohio, eight hours away from my mom.
My relationship with God at that time wasn’t as established as it is now, however, I was close enough to Him to put my trust in Him! As I was driving back from through Nashville returning to Cincinnati one Saturday, I talked to the Lord about my mother’s situation.
I poured my heart out, asking for direction and strength because I felt so lost.
I told God that I was scared and unprepared to handle what was going on and that I needed more time—for my siblings and for myself—I knew in my heart that I wasn’t able to accept the inevitable outcome then. This wasn’t a selfish prayer request, but I had to make my petition known and I wanted to make it plain in what I was hoping for.
I asked God to restore my mother’s health and to allow her to see my little brother graduate high school. This was her desire—it became my priority.
I stepped out on faith knowing that God heard my prayer. You see, I expected Him to honor my prayer request. I also expected Him to prepare me for everything else that I would have to endure from that point in my life and onward. I hoped that God would put everything and everyone in my path that I would need to get through that difficult time in my life.
My mother lived long enough not only to attend my brother’s high school graduation, but she made it her mission to see him off to college! God’s goodness continues to give me hope.
I expected God to restore my mother and to heal her and He did. Her healing came afterwards—she shared with me before she passed that, “my healing may not be on this side.” I was able to accept it, even though it was painful. My confidence in God fortified my faith and gave me more hope to keep trusting in Him, to keep leaning and depending on Him because He will provide what we ask for and more.
I have hope for my future as a believer. There is nothing that can discount my hope