Let me paraphrase I Cor 13:13…”Now abides faith, hope and love…these three. But the greatest of these is faith, hope and love!”
I realise that love is the theme of the New Testament and this great chapter,
but for my article today, I want to emphasise ‘HOPE’.
Of the three, it may receive less emphasis than the other two.
For example: John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life (HOPE).”
I wrote this in an earlier paper entitled ‘Things That Last’. “Hope is the conviction that God is love and that life is going ‘somewhere’….and not ‘nowhere’.”
The real trouble with the world is not that it is running out of physical resources, but that it is running out of HOPE. It is running out of HOPE because it puts it’s HOPE in the wrong things….physical resources for example.” (Sam Moffett)
Emil Brunner said, “What oxygen is to the lungs, HOPE is to the life. Take away oxygen and death occurs. Take away HOPE and humanity dies.”
HOPE is the light not only at the end of the tunnel, but while in the tunnel. It is:
~ the sheep with the Shepherd in the valley
~ the rainbow after the storm
~ the silver lining with every cloud and
~ the Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Present and future HOPE come because…there was THE resurrection after THE crucifixion.
~remain firm in faith…
~persevere in HOPE
~let the gospel of love penetrate and permeate your life.
Remember, God is in every tomorrow…so do not be afraid for tomorrow, as God is already there!
Therefore, don’t be faithless, loveless or HOPEless. Build your HOPE on things eternal and hold to God’s unchanging Hand.
Faith is how you know where you’re going…Love is how you get there…and….HOPE keeps you going.
I have a list of 30 Scriptures where ‘Hope’ is used. You can run references on these, but I’ll share these few:
Hebrews 6:18-19: “That by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie that we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the HOPE set before us. Therefore we have an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”
Psalms 78:1-7: “Know God’s Word, make this known to your children and set your HOPE in God.”
Jeremiah 17:7 and Psalms 146:5: “Happy and blessed is anyone whose HOPE is in the Lord.”
I Corinthians 9:10: “We plant, plow and harvest in HOPE and God gives the increase”.
Colossians 1:27: “Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.”
I Thessalonians 2:19: “The promised return of our Lord is our HOPE, our joy, and our crown”.
I Peter 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His mercy has given us new birth into a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance in life and reserved for you in Heaven.”
Let us think of HOPE as our anchor and let us once and for all, drop anchor into Jesus (the Incarnate Word) and the Bible (God’s inerrant Word)!
Warren Wiersbe says: “The anchor was a popular symbol in the early church. At least 66 pictures of anchors have been found in the catacombs.”
The Cross is a great symbol, but the empty tomb is a better one! We anchor our beliefs and HOPES for abundant life and Eternal life in both.
The book of Hebrews depicts a time in the first century when many Christians were tempted to forsake their confession of Jesus Christ, by going back to the old covenant worship.
In Hebrews 10:23, He implores them by writing, “Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for He Who promised…is faithful.” Build your HOPE on things eternal…and hold to God’s unchanging Hand!
You may ask ‘why’? Here are some good reasons:
God is love………………..God is all knowing
God is truth………………God is all powerful
God is sovereign…………God is eternal
God is Holy………………..God is infinite
God is just…………………God is unchangeable
God is ever present……..God is able and faithful
This ‘anchor of HOPE’:
Cheers the dying hours of the Saints (John 14:1-3)
Assures of immortality (Acts 24:15)
Is a Heavenly Treasure (Col. 1:5)
Anticipates Christ’s return (Titus 2:13)
Is the soul’s sure anchor (Hebrews 6:18-19)
Is grounded on a firm foundation (I Peter 1:3)
HOPE is a factor in full salvation and finds expression in endurance under trials while waiting for Christ’s return.
Until then: I John 3:3: “Hope is a purifying power to keep us clean vessels for the Holy Spirit to use.”
Rev. 3:20: “Jesus is knocking at your heart’s door.” Many people have not opened the door to Jesus. Let Him in and you get all 3…Faith, Hope and Love!
By Travis E. Wiginton
Travis pastored over 55 years – in Korea and in Hawaii, US. In 1951, at the first church he attended, Travis first saw the love of his life, LaMoyne, singing in the choir (although they grew up just 30 mins from each other) From the first day together, to their wedding, to the end of their days, they were inseparable. As a teen, LaMoyne too had felt God directing her to serve as a missionary, so the couple went to Korea in 1960; Travis studied Korean 7 hours daily. He enjoyed all sports. He passed away on June 4, 2019, leaving a legacy of love and friendship.