Hope is essential! Do you have hope? Do you know what hope is?
Hope is our forward outlook to be in Christ forever. This produces Joy. Heb. 11:1, "the substance of things hoped for".
Principal passages: Luke 12:15-21; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; I Cor. 4:8-13; II Cor. 4:7-18; 5:6-8; Rom. 15:13; Phil. 1:21-24; I Tim. 1:1; II Tim. 4:7-8; Heb. 6:18-19; 1 Pet 1:1-2.
Hope is our future in Christ in glory, in Heaven. When we keep focused on our circumstances, we will see little to no hope. We can only attain it by being in Christ, with our eyes focused upon Him. Christ is to be our anchor, our hope. Hope calls us to patience and confidence for service in adversity, to endure suffering, and to continue in His call (Rom. 5:1-5; 8: 18; 25). Hope must be our focus to our self, and to others, it must never be faked, or depressed (I John 3:3; 4:18)! Hope is the effect of obedience and trust in our Lord (Heb. 6:18.) If you have no hope, then you have no vision and purpose, no trust in the One who Loves.
Hope is from these passages is a call to continue in prayer and faithfulness. In that way, we can continue to be better used by our Lord. We are to remain firm in our stand of faith even when life is falling apart around us, and when we do not see hope or the light at the end of the tunnel. The call is to be encouraged and to stand firm. When we persevere in our faith, we allow God to use us even more where we are. Then, we learn and we grow further in Him, which helps us grow and be used more. This is circular. The more we endure, the more we grow. Then, the more we are used, the more we go through and so forth. This is the spiral of our faith-building that draws us higher in Him. When we are growing, we are ministering, too. As our faith grows, we are more likely to hear God's call, see the needs of others, and find opportunities to serve. Our faith development is not to be selfish, although the primary benefit is for ourselves, but we also are to see how it affects others. When we grow, then we inspire, encourage, and minister to others faster and better!
Living hope is one of the main, running themes of the epistle of First Peter. It does not indicate wishing or thinking positively; rather, it refers to the confidence and conviction we have that our living God keeps His promises and secures us in Him. It is the assurance-and fact-that God has redeemed us, will bless us, and will care for us (1 Peter 1:1-13, 21; 3:15).
So what is our call in this? To be joyful, thankful, and glad! To honor and enjoy our inherence and love that we have received, so it overflows to others around us. Then, we can grow and endure through all things! Why? Because, we will face trials and sufferings, they are a part of this world and life. There is no escape from them. We can either learn to grow or withdraw and stagnate!
We are to love Him, even though we cannot see Him or touch Him. This may go against common sense, but the reality of His grace and impact can sometimes be hidden by our desires, circumstances, and feelings. This is the test of faith and trust, if we see no hope, we then must look to our Lord; then the hope is given and can be seen. The reward of our faith far outweighs any endurance or struggle we face. The joy we have is real and significant (John 20:29).
© 1992, 2001, 2004 R.J. Krejcir, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org/