I am intrigued by people's conversations on the topic of faith. I am not talking about faith as a structured religion, but faith as an aspect of religious expression.
I am currently praying about a matter which concerns my future. As I have spoken to some folk, I have been told that I should bring the matter to God in faith, knowing that what I ask for will be given. This is not the first time I have been told to have faith, to exercise faith and to hold on to the things I want faithfully.
In my opinion, such an understanding of faith is too concerned with the future and does not capture the meaning of the term accurately.
Rather that speaking about faith as a future oriented term, I prefer to use the term "hope". "Faith" to me is more concerned with the past. I have faith and trust people whom I have journeyed with. When things go bad, my faith in God comes into full operation as I have an experience of God in my past when similar things have happened. Faith does not help at all if journey is ignored. When I look into the future, I have hope, because of my faith. Faith and hope then meet together in the present and manifest in the form of love.
So when I pray, I pray with hope and in hope. Whatever the outcome, my faith is not negated nor disproved, but intact as this is another stepping stone in the formation of my faith. I just hope I find it possible to love.