In my May 27, 2022 blog entitled Supplies on the Journey Part I, I wrote about “journey” as a metaphor for the “spiritual journey.” Openness and Courage were the first two supplies or provisions that are helpful on our journey. Abraham was used as an example of these supplies.
As promised, this blog is a continuation of the article. Openness and courage need faith, hope and trust. These three are closely interconnected. Faith, hope, and trust are so intertwined that it can be difficult to distinguish. One of the dictionary definitions of faith is “complete trust and confidence in someone or something.” According to thesaurus.com, synonyms for faith are “hope and trust.”
Dictionaries also give distinctions between these three. Faith is” belief in someone or something for which there is no proof.” Hope is “expectation for a particular thing to happen.” Trust is the conviction in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.”
FAITH: In chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews, the author gives us the Saints Hall of Fame of his biblical ancestors. The first verse is a descriptive definition of faith. “Faith is the substance of what is hope for, and the evidence of things not seen.1 The rest of the chapter is a portrait of the persons who had a firm religious faith in God’s promises- persons who walked by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
HOPE: The dictionary defines hope as a desire accompanied by the expectation of fulfillment. Hope is futuristic. We do not hope for what is already. “Now hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he sees” (Romans 12:12). Hope in the scriptures is the confident expectation of what God has promised. “Hope is an anchor that one hurls toward the future. It is what lets you pull on the line and reach at what you aiming for and head in the right direction” (Pope Francis).
Hope can be our anchor especially in times of trials, tragedy, and the other storms in our life’s journey. St. Paul exhorts us to be “joyful in hope” (Romans 12:12).
TRUST: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7).
We can have hope, but if we do not trust in the reliability and truthfulness of someone or something for which we are hoping, then there is hopelessness. “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
As we have seen faith, hope, and trust are complementary. Faith is grounded in the unseen. Hope is grounded in the future. Trust binds them together.
Abraham’s and Sarah’s faith gave them nourishment and hope. They looked to the future and trusted that something good would come from their many hardships.
Ponderings for you:
– Do I have the faith, hope, and trust in God that the Almighty supports, guides, and believes in me?
– Do I trust that God is closer to me than even the worst problems that threaten to undo me?
– Do I trust that I can approach God as I am, not as I think I am supposed to be?
Part III in this series is forthcoming.
By Sister Marie Leonard, OSB
- * Other translations of faith are: “Faith is the realization of what is hope for and evidence of what is not seen” (NABR, 2010) and “Faith is the confident assurance concerning what we hoped for, and the conviction about things we do not see” (NAB, 1970).