A few comments and things have been floating around my head these past few days. What kind of sparked my thoughts was a question that some one had asked me in regards to the move. My response kind of startled me. Not because it wasn’t an honest response, but because I didn’t realize that I was “in that place.” I am going to be that cryptic.
Anyways this got me to thinking about how I understand various words. This morning while working on the dishwasher and kitchen and doing some planning the thoughts have worked into a nice little theory I thought I would share. These are opinions, as always, I love a discussion!
I am going to use an example when working through my thoughts.
Knowledge: When I say I know something, it implies to me that “something” is a fact and there is no questioning its being. For example, if I were to say, “I know it will be sunny tomorrow.” I imply that there is no question it will be sunny tomorrow. This also suggests that at a previous point in time I thought about it and came to a conclusion. So I answer with certainty.
Belief: When I say I believe something, it implies to me that “something” has a portion of doubt that can be attached to it. There is a measure of questioning to be done and it implies that I have to spend time thinking about the subject or that I have thought about it and can’t come to a certain conclusion. For example, “I believe it will be sunny tomorrow.” I answer and give myself a bit of lee way on the topic. It will likely be sunny, but there is a small chance that in fact it may not be sunny. When I say I believe something I am saying that I am fairly certain, almost to the point of fact certain, that the “something” will happen but want to leave open the possibility that it might in fact not happen.
Hope: When I say I hope for something or in something, it implies that while I think “something” could happen and is a viable possibility it is my opinion that it is more likely not to happen. At this point I have moved myself from the point of feeling that “something” will likely happen and feel that in all likelyhood “something” won’t happen. So when “I hope tomorrow will be sunny,” I am saying that I don’t think it will be sunny but there is a vague possibility that it will be sunny and that I am choosing to focus on that possibility. To me Hope is still a positive frame of mind. When I hope for something I am confident in the fact that “something” is attainable but am trying to be practical and am assuming that in fact this something won’t happen. When I hope in something, I don’t spend an awful lot of time thinking about the possibility. To me, to spend your time in Hope and Wishes is to live a shallow and empty life. To me to live with your thoughts in Hope and Wishes is to be ungrateful and unhappy with what you do have and are blessed with, things you can know and believe. So there is a side of Hope and Wishes that are not positive and finding a balance is quite difficult.
Wishes: So that brings me to Wishes. When I say I wish for “something,” I am implying that I am fairly certain that the said item will not occur. I imply that I have thought about the circumstance and am fairly confident that “something” will not happen. When “I wish it would be sunny tomorrow,” I imply that I don’t think it will be sunny but that I have a desire that it would be sunny tomorrow. Wishes imply longing and desire. They are yearning for “something” that I don’t think I can or will have but would like anyways. Wishes have a purpose, for one, they often serve as motivation and can be goals. It isn’t wise, in my opinion, to have all of your goals be wishes. In fact I feel strongly that this is unhealthy. You need to make your goals things you can attain and achieve or else you will constantly be unsatisfied with life and will be a negative and unhappy person. Often wishes are born out of desperation. For me, anyways, a wish is made when I have truly given up hope for something to occur. I have possibly moved from a belief that something will occur, to a hope that it will occur, and have finally resigned myself to the feeling that I can only wish for it to occur but that it will likely never occur. If I leave myself in this train of thought for too long, I end up a very miserable person.
However, a few wishes in your life can bring joy! Especially when a wish gets answered. To me, wishes can also be a way that you can experience God’s presence in your life. I have to say that in my experience, often my prayers have wishes in them. I don’t think that God is opposed to that, I believe he wants to know our innermost thoughts and have us vocalize and form those into words. For me, it has been at the point when I have found myself in the wish category that it is in that time and place that God answers my prayer.
I don’t know why He works that way, but perhaps it is a bit to help me with some of my unbelief. When God answers my wishes, there is little doubt in my mind that the answer came not out of myself or another person’s design but out of His will and desire for my life.
And in conclusion, when it comes to faith it is my opinion that faith is found in the Believe category. To me the strength and beauty of faith is that it is an active action and a choosing to put our trust in something without complete understanding and knowledge. I think that this also means that we will keep the things we have faith in up front in our minds. When I say I know something, I have often “dealt” with the “something” and have put my questioning on the “something” aside and it no longer fills my thoughts.
I say that I can never know with complete confidence about my faith in Christ, because I strongly feel that if I were to say I know I imply that I have a very deep and nearly complete knowledge of God and all of his workings. That is impossible!