i will not lose hope - photographic illustration by Jeremy Binns

What is the difference between hope and faith? What is Hope – Part 2

Faith and Hope Explained

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for – Hebrews 11:1

I’m pretty stoked about this post because I was personally inspired and encouraged when I started asking the question, “What is the difference between hope and faith?”

Did you know that you can have faith without having hope, and that you can also have hope without having faith?  They do not automatically go hand in hand, but when you really understand what is the difference between hope and faith, you’ll see the dramatic impact that activating them both in your life can have.

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for.  If you’re anything like me, that sounds really cool, but the actual meaning of it seems a little too abstract and intangible to get a whole lot of real world application out of it.

Since I’m a word picture kind of guy, that’s what we’re going to do here.  Let’s break this simple phrase into a real world scenario.  We’ll start by thinking of something we are hoping for.

black and white bicycle with spot color - image by jeremy binns

For the sake of the illustration, we’ll pretend that we’re all hoping for a bicycle. In this scenario, the bicycle is the ‘thing hoped for’.

If we revisit the verse, we could now say that faith is the substance of the bicycle I want.

Next, we’ll examine the one word that’s perhaps the trickiest, ‘substance’.  In the dictionary, substance is defined as:  a fundamental part, or the physical material of which something is made.  In the Jeremy everyday common sense dictionary, that means the parts and pieces of something.

Let’s take another look at the verse now.  Faith is the all the pieces and parts of the bicycle I want.

Faith, in my experience, is the easiest part of the verse.  The dictionary describes faith as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence.  (NO evidence – that’s a blog for another day)  From a Christian perspective, that is a firm belief and trust in God.

black and white image of a bike pedal - spot color - image by jeremy binns

Now our verse reads:  My belief and trust in God (faith) makes up all the pieces and parts (substance) of the bicycle I want (hoped for thing).

What are you hoping for today?  Your belief and trust in God are going to make up all of the pieces and parts that bring that hope into reality.

Hope is the possibility that inspires us to activate the potential of our faith.  This is why it’s so important for us to understand what is the difference between hope and faith.

There are too many people who have faith, but don’t understand why they are so sad and depressed.  A lot of times it’s because they don’t have any hope to inspire and activate that faith.

On the other hand, I’ve also met people who were sad and depressed because they hoped for many things, but had faith for none.

Hope and faith are like two interconnected links of the same chain.  Together, they bridge the gap between the life we have and the life we desire.

What are you hoping for?

View the Hope Series

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About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • Lance

    Encouraging word. Thanks.

  • TJ

    Really put things into perspective. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts. Thank you so much for he enlightening message!

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Thanks for the Feedback TJ – Blessings!

  • Pingback: Getting My Hopes Up One More Time - Jeremy Binns()

  • Rudolph mason

    Great view point, id like to think that I pride myself in always keeping the faith, but never really considerd the hope factor,which is why I probably find myself down so often when life happens!thanks for this gem.

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Thanks Rudolph. Pretty sure I’ve found myself in those same shoes more than once. Glad you enjoyed the post, and I’ll be praying for God to fill your heart and mind with some God-sized hopes. Have a great week.

  • amandalmorelock

    It is impossible to please God without faith. So faith must (obviously) be pretty important. I couldn’t sleep for pondering, what is the difference between faith and hope? Do I have faith where I should have hope? (or vice versa) And so God led me here. Fantastic post. Heb 11:1 is my favorite verse. So well explained. Thank you for being the willing vessel of explanation. =D

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com Jeremy Binns

      Hey Amanda,

      Thanks so much for that. This is consistently one of my most viewed posts.

      I enjoy getting feedback, and I love it when God uses them!


    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for stopping by the site on a sleepless night. I always enjoy feedback, and especially so when God gets involved and uses something here to encourage or help someone else along in their journey.

      Thank you!


  • Vanessa Ekeke

    Hope is the resting ground on which faith builds. That is why whenever a message of faith is preached it goes out seeking, looking to find a man or woman with hope. When you loose everything but loose not hope, then you have lost nothing. Hope is the anchor of the soul. The very reason the devil wants us to believe that we have a hopeless situation. Anyone who can succeed in stealing your hope has stolen your destiny because a man without hope has nothing to live for. No wonder the first messages that Jesus preached was always A MESSAGE OF HOPE. He always began with “Be of good cheer , I have overcome the world.” Hope is the fertilizer that causes faith to grow. Through the eyes of hope we are able to visualize our world thus bringing it to life via a combination of faith and works

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      “When you loose everything but loose not hope, then you have lost nothing.” – What a great line, might have to tweet that one. :)

      Terrific insight – thanks for sharing!

      • Thomas Mills

        Sounds great until you realize that you have included faith in “loose everything…”. Faith and hope must both accompany us on our journey otherwise the destination is unattainable.

  • Phil Munguia

    I like your explanation of the difference between faith and hope, until you gave the example. I think that both Faith and Hope are best understood when we maintain our eyes in the spiritual world. Faith in our sociaty is link to our needs and what we can have if we belive in God. The faith and hope of the bible, especially that of chapter 11 Hebrews is linked to straordinary events of faith that did not in many cases involved the act of receiving anything ( Heb 11:13) , but knowing that God will take care of things in due time. I come from a country where our faith is in God and what we hope for isn”t necesarily a tangible ítem such as a bicycle, but acts of power, miracles, healings, and most important the act of keeping a godly life awaiting his second coming ( 1 John 3:3) – In my own experience, Faith provides the knowledge to know God through Jesus Christ: its where you start and Hope helps you continue, especially in the myst of having nothing, feeling nothing and suffering everything for His sake. Blessings to you Jeremy….

    • PJ

      I understand your point, but Jeremy’s used an illustration to help us get across the concepts, that are difficult to grasp for some. I know folks that will find this useful. Don’t let the fact he used a tangle illustration get in the way of the point… He’s not saying ‘understand faith and hope so you can get whatever material possessions you desire’, the bike is an example.

  • Colleen Westley Newman

    I’m struggling really badly with Faith and Hope..i have a tattoo with faith hope love trust and by each is the initial of my daughters and husband..by Hope is my daughter who is a substance addict and is now 8 1/2 mnths preg and the the mom’s siblings and me wanted baby 2nd name to be Hope as it ties in with the mom that we will continue to have hope that she will come clean..
    My problem or confusion now is that I’m told her 2nd name should be Faith as that is more concrete and beter and means more..
    Please help

  • TR Ulrich

    Way to wordy for me…geesh…

  • Coral

    Thanks for this Jeremy….a very clear explanation.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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