Hope is that glimmer of expectation and fulfillment that draws us into the journey of life …
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, made known through Jesus.” – Blaise Pascal
Hope is what prompts each and every one of us in our attempts to fill that God shaped and God sized vacuum in our heart. Our desire for hope … no, our need for hope … prompts us to pursue the objects of hope.
And despite the centuries old wisdom revealed in the Pascal quote above, we all attempt to fill that vacuum with any and all the created things we can. Only to time and again experience hope unfulfilled … for some this becomes a destructive cycle of life.
Oftentimes Christianity reaches out to these hope hungry souls with a fire and brimstone message of hopelessness … a little reverse psychology so to speak. And yet while no doubt one aspect of the gospel message is the hopelessness we all have apart from Christ Jesus, the truth remains that it is hope that draws us into the journey. And the only true hope … because everything else is nothing but false hope … is found IN Christ Jesus and His promises.
While our pursuit of hope is the instigator in our journey of life … faith is what motivates us in our daily living.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
When we are convinced and assured IN the object of our hope, our pursuit of that hope results in trust and steps of faith each and every day … first as we experience the bits of hope fulfilled in the here and now … and also as we get glimpses of the hope yet to be fulfilled in the hereafter.
The object of our hope as believers is Christ Jesus … faith prompts us to put our trust IN Him and believe all that He has promised in this life and the life to come … really one eternal life.
And without faith it is impossible to please (God), for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 ESV
Which brings us to this truth …
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
Love is indeed the greatest … because love is actually the realization of hope and faith. Apart from the instigation of a hope IN Christ Jesus, apart from the motivation of a faith IN Christ Jesus and His promises … it is impossible to realize the love of God found in loving Him and loving one another.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides IN us and his love is perfected IN us. By this we know that we abide IN him and he IN us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:7-13 (ESV)
May I suggest reading, considering and meditating on that passage a bit?
Hope instigates … faith motivates … love relates …
Hope, faith and love … the design of God … the work of God!
Fill us with all three Lord … fill us with all three!
I especially lift up this prayer for my friends and fellow believers Al and Kathy. They are both strong people of faith and Al has just gone through one of his worst bouts in a decade long struggle with multiple sclerosis … a struggle that has seen him move from mobility to immobility. In talking to him yesterday, I got the sense that he had lost sight of his hope which has seriously impacted his faith … if you have a prayer list, would you add Al and Kathy to it. If not, would you take but a moment to ask the Lord to restore Al’s hope and faith … also pray for his wife and caregiver Kathy … she is such a saint! Thank you and God bless!