For several days we have been examining the nature of hope as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13:13 where Paul wrote, “Now abide faith, hope and love…” In Thessalonians 2:19, Paul personalized hope and said a major part of his hope, a major part of his forward confident expectation, was the people who had given their lives to the Lord. There he wrote, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”
For sure, many of those people he thought of were still alive but quite possibly some he thought of had already experienced their departure into heaven. Paul had a deep longing to see his friends and loved ones and even people he had not personally led to Christ, standing before the Lord. That picture in his mind of all the saints ready for the Lord and standing before and knelling before the Lord propelled Paul to press onward as he looked upward. His hope and our hope should be very personal.
We are all at various stages in our walk with the Lord. Even if we have walked with the Lord for many years, there are times when we lose heart, when the path becomes a weary path. The key truth about hope is this –
Our confident, everlasting, forward-looking hope is based on the perfect plan of God. Even when it looks like evil is winning, keep on pressing on because our hope is in the resurrection of our Lord and His glorious return for us when our faith will be sight.
Tomorrow we begin looking at the third part of this marvelous trilogy. That would be the tremendous virtue of love. Take care