Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Virtue of Hope

As we enter into the topic of hope today I would like to ask you to first take a few moments and think to yourself about what you put your hope in. If we are alive, which or course we are, we live with a purpose that gives us some kind of hope. Stop right here and take a couple of minutes to ponder what your hope is. What drives you to believe you have hope?

I am assuming if you are reading this you have taken the few minutes to look at your own hope. Let's see if we can expand it, shall we?

Hope. What is it? What does it mean to have hope? How do we get it?

Hope is explained as a feeling that what is wanted will happen; a desire accompanied by expectation. It answers our burning desire for happiness, a desire that God put in every persons heart.

Often I have heard this statement. "Without hope, there is nothing left to live for". Critically ill patients die earlier if they feel there is no hope. People take their own lives when they believe there is no hope left. So how do we find a hope that gives us purpose and makes us want to live?

We are all looking for a little bit of happiness. I myself spent many years saying "when ______ happens then I will be happy" I entered many descriptions into that blank only to reach that goal, not find happiness and enter another description into the blank. I did this over and over again until I finally began to put my hope in eternal things. It is the hope of eternal life, of finally meeting Jesus face to face that keeps me pressing on. It is that final happiness that stirs a hope in my heart. My hope lies in the risen Christ that paid my debt and the promises in His word.

Titus 3:6-7 - whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 1:2 - in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.

When we became Christians, the Holy Spirit was poured out on us through Jesus Christ who saved us. Justice has been served by His unmerited favor on us. We didn't deserve it but because of His love He showed favor on us and died to pay our penalty of death. Now because of His effort we can become heirs in the Kingdom of God. We have a hope now that makes us crave the Kingdom of God and eternal life. This kind of hope doesn't disappoint.

Romans 5:5 - Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Everyday, no matter the circumstances around us, we have a hope that will not disappoint. The love of God has been poured into our hearts. The Holy Spirit, which is also God was given to live within us. God is love. Therefore, we have the living God of love inside us every moment of every day. We only need to abide in the Spirit to find the hope and courage we need.

Psalm 31:24 - Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 71:5 - For you are my hope, O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth.

Psalm 119:147 - I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word.

Do not fear; be of good courage, God will strengthen your heart if you put your hope in the Lord. When we cry for help He hears. We can put our hope in Him just as His word shows us over and over. We have a hope of salvation and eternal life. A hope that overflows from the Spirit that lives within us.

It is not in the old law of the Israelites that hope is made perfect but in the Messiah that came and fulfilled the words of the prophets that brings a final hope. It is through Jesus Christ that we can draw near to God once again as Adam and Eve did in the beginning. Through the blood of Christ, restoration is made complete and we have a more perfect hope.

Hebrews 7:19 - for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, which we draw near to God.

So we look forward with hope in our hearts to the return of Jesus on His white horse. Appearing in the clouds and calling us home to be with Him. As He said when He left this earth He has gone to make a place for us with the Father and He will return for us. So we look anxiously forward to that blessed hope and glorious day.

Titus 2:13 - looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

But until then we stand prepared to do as it says in I Peter 3:15....

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.

Take heart my friend we have much to be filled with hope for! Take courage and share with those who are around you. Everyone needs the hope we have.

See you tomorrow when we talk about our final and most important virtue..... Love


Angi said...

We can not wait for an event to happen as a condition for happiness. Our plans are but puffs of air. Goo's plans are what we should live for. My hope is that each day I have the strength and understanding to follow the path God wants me to.

God's Girl said...

Great post on hope. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for sharing from the Word! What a blessing : )

Nice to meet you! Have a wonderful weekend!