Faith and hope not identical. But they are closely related. They are like fraternal twins. Let's take a look at the relationship between faith and hope.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. NKJV
Saving faith gives us access to grace which enables us to hope when we face mountains or trials which require the gift of faith. God uses these trials like the hands of a potter shaping a vessel on the potter's wheel. Why do we need this access and hope? It's because hope is like the seed of faith. What is our hope? It is that we may share in God's glory. Hope is the beginning of faith.
What does tribulation look like? It looks like anything that causes pressure, anguish, persecution, affliction or trouble. Most people think that tribulation always comes from someone or something from the outside. That's true sometimes. It's also possible that tribulation is self inflicted. Sometimes we make bad decisions that cause trouble and invite pressures that create "tribulation."
Why, because tribulation is the way you enter into glory. In John 17:22 Jesus prayed we'd be one like He and the Father were one He prayed and gave us some of His glory. To enter into that glory we have to accept Him as Lord and go where He leads. We are to follow in His steps and take up our cross daily.
Tribulation, afflictions, threats, trouble and anguish were all experiences Jesus encountered and overcame. Hebrews 2:10 says that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings. This is the way we glory in tribulation.
Tribulation produces perseverance. Perseverance means to patiently endure sometimes even severe hardships. The original Greek sheds even more light. It implies that this patient endurance is to be done with; cheerfulness.
Perseverance produces character. The Greed word translated character is translated in other scriptures as tests or trials. It is a method of proving an individuals belief or trust. Perseverance goes hand in hand with the test. What's the test? It is the tribulation, the anguish, the persecution, affliction or trouble you experience. The question is, will you maintain your joy and hope? Will you follow Christ and allow Him to form His character within you? Will people see Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27)?
What role does hope play? It says in verse 2 that we "rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Our trust in God begins in hope.
Hope is like the seed for faith. You can't see hope. It's internal. Hebrews 11:1 says "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hope is planted like a seed underground. You can't see a seed after it is planted. But over time as nature has its way, the sun shines and it gets hot, the water rains and it is refreshed. In time that seed begins to sprout. The evidence of that seed begins to manifest for all to see.
Hope works the same way. It is planted in your heart. Outward forces come to bring trouble, but it turns out that the trouble is really the springboard for growth.
Jesus gave us access to God the Father. This is like access to the sun! It's absolutely necessary for plants to grow.
Jesus also gave us access to grace (His enabling power) through His word and through His spirit. The word and the spirit are like waters to our soul.
2 Peter 1:3 says, "as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,"NKJV
We've been called to share in the glory of Jesus Christ. But to share in that we must take up our cross and follow Him. The patient endurance which produces His character within us as we walk through trials are the key to sharing His glory. At first, we just hope that is true. But as time goes on and victories are won over trials and tribulation, the seed of hope begins to yield faith for all to see.
In this Jesus is glorified.
It is my sincerest hope that this message makes the 18 inch journey from your head and into your heart. I pray Romans 15:13 for you. "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."