April 23 – Faith and Hope

“Hope never dies where faith is strong, and faith grows strong in the presence of hope.” (Chad Witmeyer)

I have written before that one of the worst states that I believe I can ever be in is hopelessness. If I lose hope that things will be better, or that things will eventually go my way, then all is lost for me. But hope cannot die if I have faith. If I believe that there is a force greater than me working in the world, then there will always be hope.

I consider myself to be a man of faith. I have strong beliefs which have been nurtured in me since I was a child. I was raised in Catholic schools, going to church every Sunday and holyday. Along the way I learned what it meant for me to have faith, to have that gift from God that lets me know that He is at work in my life. Not controlling my life like a puppeteer, but offering gentle guidance to help me make right choices.

As an adult that faith grew and developed. As I grew in my understanding of the tenets of my faith, that guiding hand became more evident. It helped me to sustain and make good choices as a father, husband and friend. And, that faith fueled hope.

There have been dark times in my life, as there are in any person’s. During those dark times there was a temptation to give in to despair, to lose the hope that things would improve. It was my faith that fueled that hope. When circumstances inevitably improved, the fruits of that hope fueled an ever deepening faith.

Faith and hope have a symbiotic relationship to one another in my life. In times of difficulty, one feeds on the other – my faith assures me that there is hope, and my hope helps build my faith.

The faith in my life doesn’t stop with my belief in God, or in God’s providence. It extends to the trust I have in those around me. I have faith that my wife, my children, and my friends will be there for me and one another in even the most difficult of times. When I am ill or injured, I have faith in the doctors and nurses who work with me that their healing skills will be right and true. People are fallible to be sure, but my experience in life has been that those who matter most come through far more often than not.

Today I celebrate and am thankful for the gift of faith and hope in my life. I know that no matter what storms may come, no matter what difficulties may lie ahead, that my faith and my hope will sustain my spirit as I muddle through. With that knowledge in mind, I go confidently through my days.

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