I'm about to tell you something that will change your life if you'll pay attention to it! It certainly changed mine! (Thanks to Bro. Copeland!)
When the thing you’re praying for, does not come to pass, you think there is a “Faith Failure’. Actually it is this: What you experienced was not the failure of your faith...it was a breakdown of your hope! Most believers don't pay much attention to hope. They don't think of it as very important. They certainly don't consider it to be as important as faith. But the fact is, faith won't function without hope. That's because "Faith is the substance of things hoped for" (Hebrews 11:1).
When hope is lost, faith loses its aim. It no longer has a mission to accomplish. It just scatters uselessly in every direction. The kind of hope the Word of God talks about is much stronger than that because it's not based on wishing or wanting. It is based on your covenant with God and the anointing God has provided to carry out that covenant in your life.
In fact, Ephesians 2:12 says before you knew Jesus, you were "...without Christ [or
without the anointing], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers
from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
You see, hope comes when you take those promises, keep them before your eyes and in your ears until they begin to build an image inside you. Hope comes when you begin to see yourself with what God has promised you - instead of seeing yourself without it.
When you have hope, you have a supernatural expectancy that what God has promised
will come to pass in your life. When divine hope comes alive in you, you're so locked in on the Word of God, you can't be distracted from it. When your hope gets that strong, it doesn't matter what kind of unbelief the devil tries to throw your way, it just bounces off you. You're so one-track-minded, you can't be drawn off course.
That's what happened in Acts 3 to the crippled man at the ‘gate Beautiful’. He had
been sitting by that gate begging, his head down and his eyes to the ground. But when
Peter and John walked by and said, "Look on us!" that man lifted his head and began to
expect. Hope rose up in him because he was "...expecting to receive something of them".
Of course, he received a lot more than he was expecting - he expected alms, but he
got legs! That's because his expectancy hooked into their expectancy - and, believe me,
their expectancy was running high!
The only people who pray "if it be Thy will" are those who don't have any hope or
expectancy. If you've been praying that way, stop it! Go to the Word and find out what
God's will is. The Word of God is His will. It is His will for you to be well. It is His will for
you to be prosperous. It is His will for you to lay hands on the sick and it is His will for
them to recover.
Meditate on the Word until your hope gets crisp and that image inside you gets strong and clear. When you have hope, the devil can't beat you down. He can't tear you down. He can't stop your faith from working. Everyone around you can just stop in their tracks, but you'll keep right on going. When the devil knocks you down, you just get up with a deeper resolve to hit him harder the next time...and harder the next time...and harder the next time. When that happens, you no longer sit around wondering what went wrong. You blast off into the glory of God, laying hold of His promises and watching your dreams come true. You live the kind of life that those who give up hope will never know.
(The above is compiled from notes on Kenneth Copeland’s sermon on ‘DON’T GIVE UP HOPE’)