Though I Grapple With More Hope Than Faith, Still I Push Through

Though I Grapple With More Hope Than Faith, Still I Push Through

If I keep my hope, surely faith will follow shortly after.

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One thing I have noticed since working on improving my devotion life and my relationship with God is that I may have more hope than I have faith. They are related, but I can and often do distinguish between them. The former functions as a placeholder for the latter that keeps me encouraged and invested in my beliefs, but I seek to build my faith until they are both prominent rather than one greatly amounting to more.

Faith is defined by Merriam-Webster as the confidence and trust in a person or thing and/or belief that is not based on proof while hope is defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. I think the nuances of the two are greatly significant and play an important role in my life and my beliefs.

Faith in God is believing in Him without physical proof of His existence besides the remnants of His influence and actions. It is trusting in His plan and knowing it will be the best because He is God, and He only seeks the best for you in the end. It is confidence in His will and what is to come, and it is looking forward to His promises as certainties with full expectation.

Hope in God is generally believing in Him (with room for faint doubt and many questions) without physical proof and really yearning that He is indeed real. It is knowing His plan is best, but when circumstances are looking bad, it is mustering that meager strength to hold on and stay dedicated while trying not to panic. It is knowing He has a will and doing one's best to abide by it, but sometimes, you can get blinded by what is going on and the "maybe I am not doing this right" moments that you question whether He is even aware of what is going on and planning on helping out.

At the same time, I wholeheartedly believe in God, there is occasionally a small voice in my head that says, "But, like, really… is He real?", "Is He really listening?", or "Can He really do that?" It screams of cognitive dissonance all over.

I mean… I believe God can do a lot for people who ask of it, and I have seen the results of His actions in many around me and my own life. Yet I still waver when it comes to my own personal relationship with Him and the expectations on both sides.

Sometimes I feel unworthy because of it, so it makes me hesitate in making requests. Sometimes, I feel like I am just talking to the air because I am just reciting things rather than saying them. Sometimes, I have to fight the notion that God cannot do something in my life that He has done for many people. I have to just believe. which is one of the hardest things you can ask me to do, but I do it because I believe it is worth it.

I am a very analytical and logical person, so I have a very questioning mind. Some would say that clearly because I have these doubts, it means that my rational, modern mind is trying to shake off these years of indoctrination and fantasy to enlighten me to the reality of the universe: there is no God. They would say, "Go with it. Free yourself. Why would you believe in an invisible wish-granting man in the sky? Do you not see the state of the world? If a God existed, why would He let this happen?"

What you need to know is that doubt and questions are my default setting, not a result of logically unsupportable faith. I question everything: biology, religion, mathematics, sociology, psychology, etc. It is a part of who I am. I do not take most things at face value. I have to learn a lot and do intensive research before I accept anything, and even then, I hold onto some reservations.

So, when it comes to my beliefs, I do have doubts and questions, but I have that for everything. What matters is that I am trying to learn more about my beliefs to assuage some of the doubt or, at least, understand it better. It is not worth it to just give it up on something as ephemeral as doubt because it does not equate unbelief.

Yes, I have more hope than faith because it is not my nature to accept things blindly, but I think that is a good thing because it forces me to become more educated and resourceful. I must learn for myself what people try to tell me, and asking questions can often lead to great insights.

It does make it harder to be devoted to my faith, but it is not impossible. If rationality is my cross, I will bear it because I will come out stronger in the end, armed with truth and feeling content that I have learned all I could while still seeking more just in case there is.

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When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell

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One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

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Everybody Always By Bob Goff Is A Book To Rally Behind

Goff's Everybody Always is a charming and inspiring read because his anecdotes tell the teachings of the Bible without shoving Christianity down your throat.

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Bob Goff's second book Everybody Always was everything fans of his first book, Love Does, hoped for. Everybody Always is written in a similar fashion to Love Does and is known for sharing the story of Jesus through short stories. Bob Goff is a famous writer who also spent time as a lawyer, professor, and the American Consul for the Republic of Uganda. Goff has had many unbelievable experiences in his long lifetime, all of which revolve around his Christian beliefs. Some of his favorite memories are included in his books. Everybody Always contains numerous short chapters that each tell a different story in Goff's life. The chapters typically end with a life lesson intended to inspire readers to step out of their comfort zone and embrace everything God has planned for them.

One story that stands out is about the time Goff went to the Ugandan prison that held a man, a known witch doctor, who Goff personally convicted for kidnapping and torturing children. He gave the imprisoned man his first book Love Does and began to try to forgive him for his awful crimes. When Goff revisited the prison a year later, the convicted witch doctor had made a complete 360-degree turn in his faith. He not only believed in God but had shared the great news with all the other prisoners. One ex-witch doctor somehow managed to change the minds, for the better, of murderers, thieves, and other criminals. Goff was astonished that even after someone had sinned so much in their life, God can still use them to do amazing things. Goff's message to his readers is to never give up on people no matter how much of a mess they seem to be. Truthfully we're all messes, but even so, Goff believes everyone can make a difference.

The thing that readers find most enticing about Goff's book is that he never once quotes a Bible verse. His anecdotes tell the teachings of the Bible without shoving Christianity down your throat. Basically, an Atheist could read Goff's Everybody Always and find it charming and entertaining. However, knowing the Christian beliefs that Goff is trying to portray gives the reader a new level of experience. Many Christians struggle with reading the Bible because they say it is 'boring' or 'not in modern language.' Goff remedies this by providing people with a place to read about Biblical morals while being entertained.

While many of Goff's stories seem too good to be true, it doesn't appear to matter to his readers. They don't expect life as grand and adventurous as Goff's. They simply want to know that life as spectacular as that can exist. They want someone to inspire them and call them to do more. Everybody Always is a book that people can rally behind. It is uplifting and truthful at all the right times. Goff isn't afraid to call his readers out on their faults, all the while giving them the inspiration to fix their mistakes. It's this honesty and Goff's wondrous adventures that bring his readers back wanting more.

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