Hope is the foundation for love and faith. As a culture, we talk extensively about faith and love. But we rarely discuss hope.
What is hope? Hope is a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. Hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance that what one desires or longs for will happen.
One of the most familiar passages from the Bible says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Hope is frequently neglected and taken for granted, while Faith and Hope get the lion’s share of our attention.
Hope is like the middle child in a family, where the first and lastborn get all of the attention.
Just imagine listening to this family introduction.
“Let me introduce my three kids; Faith, Hope, and Love.
Faith is my firstborn. Faith is a go-getter, always doing something. Faith can’t stay seated for long.
Love is my youngest. She lives for relationships. She is always reaching out to others to interact with them.
And Hope is our middle child. She’s around here somewhere.”
In family relationships, the middle child is often the glue that bridges and connects the older and younger child.
So it is with hope. Hope is the glue that connects faith and love.
HOPE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR FAITH
Faith is built on hope. Hope is the spark that ignites our faith. Hope is that quiet voice and yearning for a better future.
We hope for a better future, and hope motivates us to act in faith. And faith invites us to take steps today for a better tomorrow, to trust in someone beyond ourselves.
It is in daring to hope that we take that leap of faith to change jobs, get married, and have children.
Without hope, our capacity for faith would be shackled by cynism, skepticism, and pessimism.
Faith is built on hope, and hope connects faith to love.
HOPE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR LOVE
Love is built on hope. Hope gives us the courage to extend love. Hope is the prompting to risk knowing others and being known.
We hope for meaningful and fulfilling relationships, and hope motivates us to love. It invites us to give, receive, and respond lovingly to others, ourselves, and God.
It is in daring to hope that we take that leap to love others. Love is a verb; love does.
Without hope, our capacity for love would be overtaken by apathy, contempt, and hatred.
Love is built on hope, and hope connects love to faith.
WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION FOR YOUR HOPE?
Since faith and love are so interrelated, we must consider the basis of our hope. If our hope is weak, our faith and love are weakened as well.
Is our hope placed in ourselves, others, or God?
There were times I placed too much hope in myself. I acted as if the only person I could rely on was myself. As you can imagine, this never ended well.
There were times I placed too much hope in others. I have learned that trust in others can be misplaced. Other people can let you down, betray your trust, and even seek your destruction.
There were times I placed too much hope in religion. My pursuit of knowledge about God was useless without a personal relationship with Him.
When our hope in ourselves, in others, and religion fails, we can be sure that God’s character will never fail.
We can be confident of his unconditional love, his presence during life’s difficulties, and his ability and willingness to keep his promises.
His unconditional love is the foundation for all hope. It is not based on our faithfulness but his. If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
His presence in our lives is not dependent on our location, behavior, or awareness. He is with us no matter where we are.
God does not make promises that he cannot or will not keep.
God does not promise we will get rich or never get sick or never be hurt. What He does promise is to be with us. And when he is with us, everything changes.
Call to action.
In these uncertain times, we can undervalue hope in its relationship to faith and love. What is the basis for your hope?
Next week: How do you measure and increase your hope?