Faith and Hope
You know, more often than not, the topics I choose for discussion at the Gilbert Spirituality Meetup Group are not ones that I am perfectly clear about in my own life and am thus seeking some input – that’s an advantage of being the facilitator! That said, I really enjoy hearing other peoples’ perspectives and real life experiences. I see how we have so much in common; we are more alike than different.
Last night we discussed faith and hope…oh yes, trust too.
Now, when I refer to faith, I am not referring to religion. I am pointing to my relationship with Spirit, God, Higher Power, Great Mystery, whatever I choose to call the Spirit of the Most High. In fact, after growing up in a not-so-religious family, being a devout atheist for many years thereafter, and then coming to believe in God, I still claim no religious affiliation and don’t suppose I ever will. Faith is about my personal relationship with God, not a man-made organized structure.
This is some of what I heard at last night’s meeting with my additional musings.
Faith is absolute, a knowing, a certainty; hope implies doubt. If that be the case, give me faith, any day, over hope!
Ah, but is faith something that is or can be always? I find there are times when I am so full of faith, and other times when I’m not. When I’ve got it, I’ve got it – and when I don’t, I surely don’t! Why is that? I would love to always have it ALL the time. To trust in Spirit in all ways, always. If it’s a choice, then we’re talking about a mental process, but to me it’s a feeling and a knowing – from the heart.
Faith is to being as hope is to doing. I guess this idea is similar to faith rests in principle while hope rests in phenomena … Faith is accepting things for what they are; hope is trying to change things. So when I accept things as they are, I am in a being state (faith), whereas when I am trying to change things, I am in a doing state (hope). Faith as a principle just is, while hope is of a lower level, a possibility. Someone suggested that maybe hope is “baby faith,” a stepping forward towards faith.
Someone shared her experience about hope vis-à-vis despair, which captured essentially what George Bernard Shaw wrote in Caesar and Cleopatra: “He who has never hoped can never despair.” That’s quite a tradeoff!
Faith is the opposite of fear (false evidence appearing real) and where there is one, the other cannot exist. When I am in fear, I am thinking about the future and wallowing in negativity. In the now, there is no fear, and faith can preside.
I was taught that if I don’t have faith, I can act as if I do, and eventually it will come. I pray to Spirit to have faith – certainty that all is well no matter what – in all ways, always.
Feels like Home.
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