losing hope

There are few things more difficult than losing hope. Faith, hope and love are not a triad in scripture for no reason at all. We know love is vitally important as we note the first and great commandment, and the second like it. And we realize that without faith we’re sunk. But hope is not something perhaps that we, or at least most of us would put in the same category. I would simply because I know scripture does, but left to myself I think I wouldn’t.

But that’s a sure indication that we need to promote hope in our thinking and living. We need to find scriptural reasons to hope and not let go of them, regardless of whether our present hope and dreams seems shattered, or at least in complete disrepair and disarray.

We at the very least can know that the heart of all God wants to do today is good, even if we can’t see or understand how God is doing it. So that by faith we hold on to hope along with love. Here’s how Paul puts it in one of those places that hope is included with faith and love:

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

That passage uses something of the military language of that day since we are indeed in a spiritual warfare, or one might say probably more to the point: we need faith, love and hope, just as much as a soldier needs their military gear.

Hope is tied to God’s promises, and specifically to God’s promise in Jesus. It is future, but something of its fulfillment is present. This is evident in another passage from the Apostle Paul:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:4,13

We could go on, talking about the vital role that hope played in the faith of our forefather of faith, father Abraham (Romans 4:18-25). But we’ll end it here. Suffice it to say that hope is not something we can dispense of any more than faith or love. We need all three, and all three go together.

And so we go on in hope, a hope that is grounded in nothing less than God’s promise to us and to the world in and through Jesus, the fulfillment beginning now in anticipation of the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

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