9 Ways Faith and Hope Work Together

This article is by Mike Leake and published by Church Leaders


I’ve been spending a good amount of my time studying the biblical doctrine of faith and hope. In doing so I uncovered this gem from John Bunyan and thought you might enjoy. (I’ve tried to modernize the language or summarize where necessary)

Here are nine ways which faith and hope are different and yet work together:

1. Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17), hope by experience (Rom 5:34).

2. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, hope by the credit that faith has given to it (Rom 4:18).

3. Faith believes the truth of the Word, hope waits for the fulfilling of it.

4. Faith lays hold of that end of the promise that is next to us, to wit, as it is in the Bible; hope lays hold of that end of the promise that is fastened to the mercy-seat; for the promise is like a mighty cable, that is fastened by one end to a ship, and by the other to the anchor: the soul is the ship where faith is, and to which the hither end of this cable is fastened; but hope is the anchor that is at the other end of this cable, and which entereth into that within the vail. Thus faith and hope getting hold of both ends of the promise, they carry it safely all away.
Bunyan is saying that faith is connected to what is seen and already grasped whereas hope lays hold of that which is yet in the future.

5. Faith looks to Christ, as dead, buried, and ascended; and hope to his second coming (1 Cor 15:1–4). Faith looks to him for justification, hope for glory (Rom 4:1–8).

6. Faith fights for doctrine, hope for a reward (Acts 26:67). Faith for what is in the Bible, hope for what is in heaven (Col 1:3–5).

7. Faith purifies the heart from bad principles (1 John 5:45). Hope from bad manners (2 Peter 3:1114Eph 5:81 John 3:3). (Bunyan is connecting faith with right believing and hope with right living).

8. Faith sets hope on work, hope sets patience on work (Acts 28:209:9). Faith says to hope, look for what is promised; hope says to faith, So I do, and will wait for it too.

9. Faith looks through the Word to God in Christ; hope looks through faith beyond the world to glory (Gal 5:5).

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