Here is some great background information that influenced my sermon this past Sunday (Jesus, The Light of The World, Dec 7th 2008. This is an except from John Bunyan's book, Israel's Hope Encouraged.)
I look forward to sharing more sermon background information as well as life application challenges in this new blog. Jump on in and start and lively discussion!!!!
The difference between faith and hope
18 August 2007 by cath
John Bunyan (author of the Pilgrim’s Progress and other classics) wrote a treatise on the text in the Psalms which calls on its readers to ‘hope in the Lord.’ Here I’m quoting an excerpt from right at the start of the book, where he differentiates between faith and hope, two graces which are in some ways quite similar.
“[In the text in question ('Let Israel hope in the Lord,' Psalm 130: 7)] that which is preadmitted is Faith. For when we speak properly of Hope, and put others distinctly to the duty of hoping, we conclude that such have faith already; for, no faith, no hope. To hope without faith is to see without eyes, or to expect without a ground: for ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for,’ as well with respect to the grace [of faith] as to the doctrine of faith. … He that never believed, never hoped in the Lord. Wherefore when he saith, ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord,’ he presupposeth faith, and signifieth that he speaketh to believers.
“That which is … [implied] [in the text] is, that Hope has in it an excellent quality to support Israel in all his troubles. Faith has his excellency in this, Hope in that, and Love in another thing. Faith will do that which Hope cannot do; Hope can do that which Faith doth not do; and Love can do things distinct from both their doings. Faith goes in the van, Hope in the main body, and Love brings up the rear; and thus now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity.
“Faith is the mother-grace, for hope is born of her; but Charity floweth from them both. But now we are upon Faith and Hope distinctly, to let you see a little. Faith comes by hearing, hope by experience. Faith comes by hearing the word of God; hope by the credit that faith has given to it. Faith believeth in the truth of the word; hope waiteth for the fulfilling of it. Faith looks through the word to God in Christ; hope looks through faith, beyond the world, to glory.
“Faith lays hold of that end of the promise that is next to us, to wit, as it is in the Bible; hope lays hold of that end of the promise that is fastened to the mercy-seat. For the promise is like a mighty cable, that is fastened by one end to a ship, and by the other to the anchor. The soul is the ship where faith is, and to which the hither end of the cable is fastened; but hope is the anchor that is at the other end of the cable, ‘and which entereth in to that within the veil.’ Thus faith and hope getting hold of both ends of the promise, they carry it safely all away.
“Faith looks to Christ as dead, buried, and ascended; and hope looks for his second coming. Faith looks to him for justification; hope for glory. Faith fights for doctrine; hope for reward: faith for what is in the bible; hope for what is in heaven. Faith purifies the heart from bad principles; hope from bad manners, 2 Peter 2: 11, 14.
“Faith sets hope on work; hope sets patience on work. Faith says to hope, ‘Look for what is promised;’ hope says to faith, ‘So I do, and will wait for it too.’
“Thus faith saves, and thus hope saves. Faith saves by laying hold of God by Christ. Hope saves by prevailing with the soul to suffer all troubles, afflictions, ans adversities that it meets with betwixt this [world] and the world to come, for the sake thereof [ie for the sake of the world to come]. … Hope has a thick skin, that will endure many a blow; it will put on patience as a vestment, it will wade through a sea of blood, it will endure all things, if it be of the right kind, for the joy that is set before it.”
John Bunyan, Israel’s Hope Encouraged, excerpt from the first section.