If you look around right now in the world it seems everyone is hanging on by a thread. Yes, I know there are people that seem to be crushing it in life. People like; pro athletes, singers, rich people who own spaceships, but for the everyday person it just seems like we are grinding to get through day by day. It just seems the harder we work, the darker our world gets. For some people we have reached the point of “what’s the purpose”? Why do I keep waking up, why do I keep doing what I do.
The answer to that could have many parts, but the biggest reason is this: Hope. We hope something, anything, will change. That if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, then one day something has to break my way. So we grind, we put our heads down and we keep walking. Day by day. However, what happens when Day by day turns to Week by week, or Month by month, or Year by year, what happens when it just seems like it will never get better?
Hope is what keeps us going, and hopelessness is what kills us. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:13 says this, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I do not want to get into the exegesis of his statement here arguing why Love is greater than Hope, I want to point out that faith, hope and love is really all we got.
Hope, is this thing inside of us that knows. Hope is this motivation is us that says things seem dark, things seem like they will never get better, but I will keep going. Hope is what drives us on our toughest days. Those days when we look around and see nothing improving, Hope says it can.
We have a misguided view of the word Hope. When we use this word, we typically mean “a desire for something”. Like if someone asks if the Bucs will win the Super Bowl this year, one may say “I hope so”. However, when we see Hope throughout scripture it is so much deeper than simply desiring something, it is knowing something. See troubles are not our problem, our lack of Hope is. We start to doubt, we start to go it will never change, and our hope subsides.
In John 16:33 Jesus is explaining this to all of us. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus tells us we will have tribulation, not things might go bad, they will.
Our children will choose wrongly. Jobs will be lost. Marriages will be broken. Sickness will lead to death. We live in a sinful world, and these things will happen. However, through it all, through the pain, the darkness, the low points in our lives, we can have peace. Hope gives us the assurance, that peace will come. Hope, not the desiring of peace, but the knowing Jesus will give us peace, leads to faith (not saying I believe, but because I believe), which leads to us loving greater, which leads to peace.
All of this, started with Hope. Started with knowing we can hold onto Christ, His death, His burial, His resurrection knowing that somehow counts for us. Hope.
This is why we Hope. Not because if we believe enough, but because we know Jesus overcame, and we can too. I know it is not always easy, but Hope is a powerful tool in our waiting. I know sometimes it feels like it is more than we can bear, but our Hope pushes us closer to the Father who loves us more than we will ever know.
In the end, Hope is what continues in us, when our strength says we cannot go any further. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)