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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

NO HIDING behind religious terms. What is "faith", really? Why does it matter?

What are Faith, Hope, and Love? Why do they matter beyond being religious terms?

Has your "faith" failed you? Do you even know what "faith" is, beyond being a religious way of saying belief in some esoteric set of theological statements? Well, "faith" is a real tangible thing and it matters to your everyday walk with God. You literally cannot please God without it. So you'd better know what it is. Let's talk about Faith, Hope, and Love... stripping religion out of it and getting to real definitions.

Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

Faith (English) / Pistis (Greek): 

Literally, in antiquity, in Greek, Pistis was a Warranty. Today, if you purchase an extended warranty for your car, you have certain guarantees that if anything happens to that car the cost will be covered.

In every verse at the bottom of this post, replace the word "Faith" with the word "Warranty", and see how that changes the way you see what that verse is telling you.

Faith is a guarantee, but of what? Of whatever God said. It's a divine warranty.

What faith is not, is a blank check to declare whatever you desire without limit and expect that God will honor it.

You have a guarantee that God will back anything he said to you (in his written word or in prayer, if it was really Him). In regards to the things He's said, your guarantee is unlimited and all-powerful.

You do not have a guarantee for one thing beyond what He's said to you. You do not have a guarantee of any miracles or breakthroughs unless God has said something to you first. It begins with his Word, which is unchangeable.

Faith/Warranty comes by hearing the word of Jesus The Anointed One. It begins there. You must hear first in order to have a Warranty. Only then will the Warranty be valid.

Hope (English) / Elpis (Greek): 

Literally, Expectation. To anticipate with pleasure, expect with confidence.

Imagine for a moment that someone you know well, trust implicitly, and you know has the willingness and resources... calls you on the phone and promises to do something amazing for you. He said he'd buy you a very expensive XYZ. This guy is not a flake. It's someone who has the ability and means and desire, who you've seen come through before.

What happens inside of you? You begin to build anticipation. Excitement. Hope. Expectation. You expect that the thing that was promised will happen.

Faith is the Warranty of things we hope for. Faith is the evidence of things we cannot yet see but absolutely expect will happen because we heard God Himself tell us He'd do it.

Caution: I've seen far too often in my life and in others that we hear one word and run off expecting a bunch of things He didn't say. Be careful to understand what he actually said and not what we interpreted his word to mean. Slow down, listen, ask for clarification before you start assuming things. 

Faith+Hope: The Power Twins

If Faith is the Warranty of things we hope for, what things do we hope for? We circle back to what God said.

Take the benevolent stranger from our example. He promised he'd get you an XYZ. What happens? You build expectation for that XYZ to come? Why do you build expectations at all? Why not doubt? Because his "faithfulness" (there's that word again) has demonstrated that he has the willingness, means, and ability to do what he said he'd do; and, he's done it before.

Your experience with him builds Expectation in his words and your hearing his specific words to you was your Warranty that it would happen.

Here again, do we have any warranty to expect he'd do something he hadn't promised to do?


We could make a request, based on our trusting relationship with him. Draw on our partnership and friendship. And he may honor that request by giving us what we ask of him. Then, and only then, would we have a warranty to expect this thing we requested would happen!

Love (English) / Agape (Greek) 

Love/Agape is love, charity, benevolence, goodwill, "preference". Often called the "God kind of Love", Agape is about preferring others over ourselves. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter, we see examples of what preferring others looks like. Love is patient, Love is kind, etc...

Notice, all of these examples of preference are relational. God has always been about relationships.

It's also worth noting, that anything you see in this chapter as a way we should treat others is a way God treats us. He is THE Agape example. So God is patient toward you, kind toward you... he believes the best in and about you. He never gives up on you.

When we are in resting in God's Agape (Love) for us, we are secure in making those requests, as in the example above. Our love for him is less relevant than our resting in His Love for us. His preference for us.

He is the master conductor of our symphony. There may be a thousand reasons we cannot understand today from our perspective that he may say no. His heart is such, that if it isn't harmful to us or others, He's likely to say yes.

One way we know it is good for us is if it brings us closer in relationship to Him. If we are seeking his hand and not his face... if we are seeking not a closer relationship but a greedy hand-out, he will withdraw his gifts for a time. The relationship comes before stuff.

Conclusion: Develop Relationship > Hear God > Get a Warranty and Expect an outcome

Hearing God say that He would do a thing is a pre-requisite to having him do it. Once we've established relationship with Him, we can hear Him, when we hear Him, we believe Him, that is our Warranty and we develop expectation... and that it was real authentic NO HIDING Faith looks like. 

Whether the thing he told us what that He'd walk through the darkest season of our lives and carry us through, or that he'd bring us into a new season of joy afterward, or that he'd be bringing new relationships and opportunities, whatever they may be... We can trust the things he's said.

Reference quotes from the English Standard Version (ESV)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4

... as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Romans 4:17

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 (Note: I checked the interlinear, it is "Christ" and not "God". Just a fun fact). 

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;b 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Your Turn: comment below.

What have you heard from God lately?


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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