Blessed Hope

Just last Sunday in the message from Romans, we looked briefly at a section on hope. Two verses in particular are worth noting once again. “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Rom. 8:24-25) When Paul closes his case on the primacy of love, he says, “And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Cor. 13:13) Just as there is a blessed Trinity in the Godhead, so it seems there is a beneficial and necessary trinity of attributes for believers. We might call them the big three. Love is the greatest, and without faith it is impossible to please God. But what about hope? I think hope is so closely linked to faith that they are difficult to separate. Faith requires belief in that which cannot be seen. Hope involves waiting for something expected, but yet unseen and unfulfilled. To live without hope leaves the soul empty. It means living for the present moment, and only what that moment has to offer. It also means living with the guilt of the past, or good memories of things that will never come again. In short, loss of hope leads to depression, despair and often death at one’s own hands. While one can live hopefully with an attitude of optimism, genuine and enduring hope is found in the gospel. It is expressed in these words, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)