Hope. What is it? This amazing virtue that Paul framed into believers eternal foundational in 1Corinthians 13:13 has been reduced to wishing in most of our thoughts and vocabularies. This week some of us hope that either the Patriots or Giants will win the Super Bowl on Sunday. Did Jesus really die for us to wish good things for our favorite sports team?
In the New Testament hope is probably best defined as the expectation of a good end. Many of the places where hope is used it is tied to the return of Christ. For the early believers the hope of Christ’s return kept them motivated to move forward with the message of Christ regardless of internal and external pressures. Their hope was not in a heaven-sent rescue but a heaven-empowered completion of the task.
How can the reality of hope fuel you and me in our daily lives? First, hope empowers me to persevere. When I expect a good end I know that tough times don’t last but tough people do. Secondly, hope keeps me positive. Hope working with faith allows me to see my life as part of God’s plan to reach my generation with His message. Instead of allowing the obstacles of my life to derail my attitude, hope sees them as opportunities for God to strategically mold, place, and best use me for His purposes. Finally, hope keeps me locked in on heaven’s perspective. Hope keeps me living from the place of God’s point of view and not just the daily grind of my life. Hope reminds that heaven is invading earth and we will dwell with Him forever. Hope declares through me: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”
Are you hoping or just wishing?