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What Is the Difference Between Faith And Hope

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Old key with tag hope on a wooden background

Even though these two words are closely related, they have different meanings which can easily be distinguished when used in the Word.

From a Christian point of view, these words may have different meanings depending on many different things and situations in life.

While we know that you know the meaning of these words already, we still want to take a closer look at them. We all need to be inspired and encouraged once in a while so that we can take on the challenges of life with determination.

Let’s take a closer look at how these two similar yet distinct words can have a different impact on our lives.

Faith And Hope

We will take a look at these words separately to see what it means according to the dictionary and how we can interpret them.

What is Faith?

According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, faith is a strong belief in someone or something like a deity or a body. This may include a god or the one and only God who created everything we see and know, or it can be a government.

So you can have faith in a fellow human being, or in the educational system, or even the federal government. We may have faith in our parents, children or a spouse, or even the law enforcement departments in our country.

There is also the religious faith where someone believes in the existence of God and turns to their belief in God for everyday life choices. Some people believe in the existence of God, but they choose not to worship him, which is another way of believing.

From a religious point of view, faith may also mean an unshaken belief that God takes part in our everyday lives.

What is Hope?

Hope, on the other hand, is when you want something to happen or if you want something to be true. An example of hope in our everyday life is when someone falls ill, we will hope that they will recover from it.

A different example is when you invite your friends to your birthday party, you hope that everyone will come and celebrate with you. Another definition of hope from the dictionary is when you cherish a desire and anticipate it to come to fruition. 

A religious example is when you pray to God for a positive outcome of a situation, you have hope that He will answer your prayers.

There are many other examples of instances when many different people experienced real-life situations that they want to come true, which can be described as having hope.

You will find that hope and faith are many times used together in the Word of God as great examples. While we all know that Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, we believe that he will return and we hope that it will happen soon (Titus 2:13).

This is a good example of an incident we anticipate to happen and in this case, you use both faith and hope. Another good explanation is that we have faith, and that means we have confidence in what we hope to happen.

Where Faith And Hope Work Together

There are many examples in the Word of God where these terms are used together but are separated from each other. Paul talked about love to the Corinthians and added hope and faith as those we are left within the conclusion (1 Cor. 13).

Another example where faith and hope are used in combination is when Jesus told his disciples that He will return. This leaves all his disciples to believe His words and give them the hope that they will be with Him one day (John 14:3).

Hebrew 11:1 is one of the most used verses when it comes to faith and hope, and in this verse, they are used interchangeably. So, according to this scripture, you have faith in whoever will make your prayers come true, while you have hope for the outcome.

It seems in layman’s terms that, although faith and hope are mostly used together, they are the opposite sides of a coin. This means that faith refers to trust in someone due to previous experience while hope is part of the outcome.

While 1 Corinthians 15:20 is basically what our faith is built on, John 14:19 comes with the promise of life as our hope.

From a Worldly View Point

If you are not a religious person, but still want to know the difference, let’s take a look at that. Faith is basically rooted in the reality of the past, wherein you have faith in someone’s word due to past experience.

Hope is a look forward to something that can not be seen yet. Despite the unknown, you have hope that you will witness your desired outcomes in the future.


We can easily see that faith and hope, even if they mean different things, are complementary to each other. Thus, without faith, there is no hope, and the opposite is also true; without hope, there is no faith.

Many find this a difficult concept to grasp, but if we do as the Lord Jesus said – be like children – it will not really matter. Blind faith in our heavenly Father gives us all the hope we need.

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