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Faith

Hope Is Not Wishing

Hope is Not Wishing. It’s an expectation for something to happen.

Hope in fact is a demand. It’s a demand on your future; for your present to align and move towards a specific result. This makes hope one of the boldest forces known to man.

Boldness is the requirement for hope. Because of this, hope is not for the timid. It’s a special force reserved for those willing to substitute passive dreaming for intentional momentum. Those that understand that their dreams mean nothing with action and that action without dreaming is pointless.

Let’s be clear. Our language shouldn’t be “I wish I could get a new job.” Or “I wish something would work out in my favor”. Wishing is uncertain. It’s so hands off. Let’s change that same statement to “I expect a new job”. Feel that passion and energy? That my friend is hope. 

If you can conquer your timidity and move from wishing to expecting, you’ll see the whole world open up for you in a way it hasn’t before.

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”

Hebrews 11:1

Infamously quoted, but often misunderstood, Hebrews 11:1 archetypes faith as the substance of things that are hoped for. Listen again. Things are hoped for! They are not haphazardly given. They are expected. Things are expected. Healing is expected. Wealth is expected. Salvation is expected. Friendship is expected. Wives are expected. Things are not given by coincidence. They are received by hope.

Even in your lowest moments of faith, don’t let hope die.

In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts…to give you an expected end.” He can’t bring you to anything you’re not expecting. Frankly put; you can’t handle it. It will shock and blow your mind until the point that you’ll fumble the blessing and leave it for someone else to pick up.

Pray Your Expectation

It only sounds arrogant if you’re insecure about your relationship with God, but today change your language and say this out loud. 

“I expect {insert bold prayer you’ve been scared to pray}”

Prayer of Expectation
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Faith

Everyone Has Faith

You holding your phone and being convinced that it won’t explode in your hand; that’s faith. Sitting in your chair at work and not even considering it may break; that’s faith. Driving down the highway in your car to work convinced that you will get there safely; that’s faith.

Everyone has faith. There’s not a human being that does not have faith.
Faith is the conviction that something is possible. (Hope is the expectation that it will happen). It is not a genetic mutation that only a select few are predisposed to receive. If you believe that a thing is possible, then you are exercising faith.

Faith is a Muscle

Muscles have to be exercised or else they lose strength. 

A self-proclaimed atheist once told me that he didn’t have any faith. That I was somehow better than him because he was born without it. I pointed to a science exhibit we were both observing about the human body. Reading the labels, I told him that just like everybody has the muscular system, every human also has faith.

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Romans 12:3 (NIV)

Faith has been given by God to every human. The only difference is how much we have individually and intentionally strengthened our own. No one is superior because they have it. We all do! Because He’s good, it would be improper for him to have an issue with humans that don’t have the ability to believe in Him.

In your muscles lie the ability to perform every action well. In your faith lies the ability to believe that all things are possible.

The harder something is, the more faith it requires. The more it requires you to recall to your memory what things you believe are possible. This is no different than the struggle between walking to your car and running a mile. Your body can do both, but how you’ve exercised and prepared will determine the ease of completing that task.

If what you’re facing seems to be too difficult for you to believe otherwise, and you don’t like the options reality is presenting, try this faith exercise. Say this out loud.

“I believe the ground I’m standing on is solid. I believe that I will eat tomorrow as I did yesterday. I believe that [insert challenging feat here].”

A Faith Exercise by Marcus Battle

That might have been tough to do, but don’t you feel the strength from declaring what’s possible?

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Faith

Faith Is Exhausting

There are some times when your reality won’t fit inside of your faith. Times when what you hope for doesn’t fit inside your experiences.

This my friend, is why faith and reality are often incompatible. They are both true. Idly co-existing. Waiting for a decision to be made.

They are both real. They just exist under different conditions.
Hope exists under possibility.
Reality exists under acceptance.

Neither is evil. They just are.
I have personally struggled with both.
I am personally struggling with both.
I will personally struggle with both.

Here’s the gem that most people forget to teach you; believing is exhausting.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s a reality of faith. Reality accepts circumstances as they are. Therefore, it is passive. It requires absolutely no cognitive power to create. Hope, however, requires energy. It requires effort on your part to include your mind, reasoning, and creativity to paint a picture opposite of the one you see. Reality is lazy and often unappealing. That’s why no matter how hard, unbearable, uninspiring life gets, I’d rather believe.

Makes sense why “without faith, it’s impossible to please God.” 

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

What human, let alone God, is inspired by immobility? Whose favorite football team is one that doesn’t hustle? Who’s favorite singer is one that doesn’t practice? Reality is mediocrity at it’s finest and honestly unappealing. 

A Template To Believe

I get it. Faith is expensive. It costs time. It costs disappointments. It costs pride. It’s even sometimes embarrassing. But when I consider the options, reality rarely pays anything and faith gives profits.

If you want to give faith a try, but don’t know how to articulate it, here’s a template. Try saying this out loud.

“The reality is [insert problem, difficulty, etc.], but I’d rather believe that [insert positive outcome]

A Template to Believe by Marcus Battle

What are your challenges with choosing faith over reality?