Hope has to do with the future. Trust (or, faith) has to do with the present. Both are good. Both are necessary for a fruitful relationship with God. Yet their difference is significant, and some people only have hope when they think they have both.
People who look to God for the afterlife have hope in Him. Nothing wrong with that, but if that’s as far as it goes, they are missing the element of faith which is essential for pleasing Him. Further, if they have hope for the future and think that is sufficient for the present, they are deceiving themselves and won’t even know that they aren’t pleasing Him.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead not just so that we could go to heaven when we die, but so that we could live godly on the earth between now and then. Godly – that is, like God. Like Jesus. That takes faith!
If you are looking to God for your future but not your present, then you are missing out on what faith has to offer. Live in trust (that is, by faith). Make Jesus your trust, just as you’ve made Him your hope.
When the life of a believer is no different from the life of an unbeliever it is because the “believer” is really only a hoper.