In these days we are examining 1 Corinthians 13:13 and the three Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love. In 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, we find these three virtues in a different order. There Paul wrote, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.”
Over the past few days we looked at faith. Today, and for the next several days, we will look at hope. A good place to begin would be to answer the question — “Why is hope so important?” We know why faith and love are important, but why is hope so important? Let me give you three a reasons.
- Because it is in the Bible. For most of us that is reason enough. We need to know the truth about what the Bible says about this subject.
- Because of the state of affairs in our world today. It seems like evil is winning. It seems like things will continue to get worse and worse. We need hope to press on in the midst of these perilous times.
- Because one of the worst feelings is to be without hope.
Hope is a word that requires us to cause our minds to think biblically because of the way we naturally use the word hope. The way we use the word hope is to wish for something that may or may not happen.
- A little boy hopes to get a bicycle for his birthday.
- An employee hopes to get a year-end bonus.
- A church member hopes the preacher will finish in time to get home before the roast is burnt.
None of those things are certain but they are hoped for. But when the Bible uses the word hope like we find in 1 Corinthians 13:13, it means
- to anticipate; with eager anticipation
- to anticipate or expect something that is pleasurable
- the joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
- the anticipation includes a confidence that the thing will most certainly come to pass.
In this sense we are certain the item hoped for will come to fruition, we are confident it most certainly will happen. Why and how can we be so confident? Check back tomorrow and we will continue this most important discussion on hope. Have a great evening.