The gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is in essence the promise of God to mankind. We receive that promise by faith. But prior to faith ever taking root, hope is first born in our heart through God’s promise. Hope always precedes faith because only hope provides us the motivation to believe. It is the catalyst by which faith is activated. Our faith pleases God, who freely imparts His righteousness as a gift of grace. Faith is much more than a superficial belief in God. We ultimately obtain the promise of the gospel by living our lives through what Paul calls the obedience of faith—the type of behavior which offers proof of a thriving faith.
(Excerpted from “Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself”)