Here are Three Questions to Think About
- Are the great three virtues of faith, hope and love, temporary or eternal?
- Are they provisions for our life given the current conditions of sin and the effects of the curse, or are they built into creation?
- Could you imagine human existence (even pre-fall) without them?
These Virtues are Built into Creation
- Humanity has been structured to live in the great triad of faith, hope and love from the very beginning.
The current conditions of the creation make these have a certain “shape”, but they belong to the nature of human beings. God is love, so we have been made to live in love, by faith and in hope.
Hope is Essential
- Hope is essential to human existence.
- It may be either true or false, but all human beings must have hope of some sort.
Some examples of true and false hope:
- Psalm 33:13-17 cf. vv. 18-22.
- Psalm 62:5-11.
- Isaiah 20:5-6.
Hope and Hopes
- There is a difference between Hope and hopes.
- But even hopes require faith and love, of a sort!
- And what happens when they fail?
- In the true and ultimate sense, there is Hope only in God. Eph. 2:12 cf. 1 Thess. 4:13. God is the hope of his people (e.g. Jeer. 14:8; 17:13).
The hope of God's people is based on two things:
- The declared nature of God (e.g. Exodus 33-34) and
- The revealed actions of God in history (e.g. Psalm 105).
New Testament Passages
Some important New Testament passages:
- Romans 8:20-25.
- 1 Peter 1:3 cf. 1:13; 1:21; 3:15.
- Hebrews 6:13-20.
Hope lies in the declared character of God, revealed in his actions in Jesus Christ.
- Hope, in the Biblical sense, is a “fixed certainty.”
- The things for which we hope are many.
- But ultimately we hope in and for God himself, who is our Shield and our Reward.
Hindrances to Hope
Hindrances to hope may appear from time to time. E.g.
- Failure to remember.
- Fear of God in judgement (cf. 1 John 4:15ff).
- Distraction with “hopes.”
- Fellowships where there is little faith and love.
- The biblical view of hope is a “now” and “not yet” picture. Hope in God will be contested in the present, but the hope of the future means that the present does not have the last say.