The three great virtues : faith hope, and love.
Because of their great significance there are famous symbols that stand for them: the cross, a heart, and an anchor.
As we meditate on Hope during this week, it might be enlightening to think about how often we mix up the ideas of hope and faith. Sometimes we pray with hope, not realizing faith is needed, and other times we lose hope because we think that our faith isn’t “working”.
Looking at the symbols, it seems there are a few key thoughts to help us out.
When we see the cross we are thinking of “Who” saves us. We put our faith in that someone who answers the question “who?”
When we see hope’s anchor, we are thinking of “Where” we are putting our trust.
For faith to work, there has to be a person we put our trust into. We have to know something of that person, even if just a name.
But for hope, we have no need to know anything about that. Hope is universal, we simply need to be able to trust somewhere in the future. That things will work out in that time and place. People can hope for the best through all sorts of means, but a Christian’s hope is placed in a spiritual place. So, we anchor our hope in heaven, because we put our faith in Jesus.
The line of prophets and heroes of the Bible are a constant example of men and women who anchored their hopes in the promises of God, and in a future place.
Story of Sarah
Genesis 21: 1-7 is the account of Sarah and how God gave her the son that He promised Abraham. They had about given up hope to have children, and maybe Sarah had given up. But then, God answered and she found herself with the fruits of faith.
Why does it seem to us that we are at the extremity of what we can believe, in some of what God has said? Hope helps us to extend past the boundaries of the usual, the normal.
Words Of Hope
Today, like those who were waiting for the promise of Christ, let’s meditate on some of the scriptures about hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Today I want to put hope in God in a decided way, and anchor myself there. Join me, won’t you?
What have been your hopes? Have you found yourself struggling, close to giving up like Sarah? Like the Psalmist said, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth”
Hope is sometimes where we look. It is time to look up, away from our present circumstances, to put our gaze towards where we expect God should come.
A Carol For Today
Away in a Manger
Go Tell It On The Mountain