Living Hope

Living Hope     


            Hope has to be one of the most underrated virtues of all time.  When a person thinks of another person who seems to be hopeful despite disappointment after disappointment, they tend to view them as naïve and ridiculous at times because they continue in their expectation of good.   Yet, hope is the only things which keeps us going each day, hope in something or someone. Hope is the expectation of future good.  We all need it and no matter how down we may be, we all have it in some area of life.


            Two types of hope are impossible hope and hope as a natural expectation. During the terrible storm that would ultimately shipwreck Paul and his shipmates, it is not said of them that their first reaction was that the matter was hopeless.  No, their first reaction was a natural expectation of hope.  Reference Acts 27:20. Abraham in Romans 4:18 was expressing what I called impossible hope.  Though he believed the idea of him becoming the father of many nations seemed farfetched, he chose to believe God’s promise and continued to hope for the impossible, in faith.


            Hope is described as living and being a great virtue. Hope according 1 Peter 1:3 is a living hope.  The lively hope that is mentioned in this verse signifies a hope, which carries through a lifetime. Something active, alive, and affecting a person’s life. Hope does that every day for each of us. Because Christ lives, hope is alive and active in the world. 1 Corinthians 13:13 sings the praises of hope as a great virtue.  Something we are called to have, maintain and foster.


            There are two foundations on which our hope should rest, God’s Word and God’s Promises. In Psalm 119:42-81 the Psalmist goes on and on about trusting in God’s Word.  He vividly expressed the foundation and impact God’s Word provided for his life.  That same foundation and impact can be afforded us through God’s Word. Romans 15:4 tells us that through learning the Word of God we will see hope come alive in our lives. God’s promises, found all throughout His Word, provide hope for us daily.  His promises become stabilization for our lives. We are assured of that in Titus 1:2 where God’s ultimate promise is spoke of, the promise of eternal life.


            We established that hope exist for all living people; without it we would not be able to continue in life. We also concluded that the only hope that transcends this life is the hope found in Jesus, the Christ, and the eternal life He offers. Now we will focus on what our objects of hope should be and what hope will produce in our lives.  As always, please take the time to look up the Scripture text cited.


            The objects of our hope have to be things that cannot fail us or disappoint. Yet, so often, we put our hopes in the wrong things and frequently feel the sting of disillusionments. The Psalmist knew that his hope had to be found in God [Psalm 39:7], as do we. David waited for God to reveal Himself, which was a demonstration of his hope.  Our hope, just as Paul’s and his companion’s hope was, must be found in Christ, His life, His death, and His everlasting life [1 Corinthians 15:19]. Our salvation [Romans 5:1-5], the, possibly our, resurrection from the dead [Acts 23:6], and the eternal life [Titus 1:2] which will follow are three beautiful reasons for hope. Then the granddaddy of hope can be found in that glorious day when Christ returns [Romans 8:22-25 and 1 Corinthians 15:23-26] to earth for His children and to set up His Kingdom.  In the interim time, what can hope produce in your life now, today?


            We can find several attributes in people and ourselves, which cause hope and are also a result of hope.  Salvation [Romans 8:23] and assurance [Hebrews 6:18, 19] are most likely the foundational blocks of hope. This in turn produces a stability of the spirit and soul of a person [Colossians 1:21-23]. We will find a type of purity among those who have put their hope in Christ.  They desire to be pure as He is pure [1 John 3:3].  This is coupled with a joy that seems to a regular companion [Romans 12:12]. There is a sense of patience and courage that is present in those who live with the hope of what is to come in Christ [Romans 5:4, 5 and 8:25]. 


            There is nothing like hope to make each day brighter and all the days ahead easier to face. May we each make room in our lives for hope to flourish.


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