Psychologist Nancy Colier says that, “Most people think about hope … like the sprinkles on an ice cream, like it’s great if it’s there, but (you don’t really have to have it).” But for mental health and spiritual health, it’s actually vital. Hope makes life more enjoyable. Hope also helps provide resilience and a greater ability to cope in the face of stress, anxiety, depression. Hope gives us aim, direction, purpose. Sadly, hope has been easier to lose and harder to come by the last year.
What’s more, the word hope is thrown around a lot to discuss a lot of different things. The same word is used with a wide variance of meaning. Many times when people use the word hope, it would probably be more accurate to use wish.
A wish is a desire for something (whether it is obtainable or not).
Hope is also a desire for something, but it includes anticipation and even expectation.
Christian hope is desire and expectation fueled by faith in what God will do through Christ.
So here are a few qualities to keep in mind when we are told that Christ-formed love always hopes/ hopes in all things.
Love that always hopes is not passive. Add love to hope and it’s always active. What we hope for, we work for.
Love that always hopes is not merely personal. It includes me, but it means I have hopes for my neighbor as I do for myself. In fact, as we mature in Christ, his hopes for our world become our hopes.
Love that always hopes is never achievable in our own power. When our hopes become transformed lives as a part of a reclaimed creation, then we realize we are fully in God’s territory.
Love that always hopes is far bigger than any party or presidential candidate. Vote your conscious. Advocate for your candidate if you so choose. Be the best citizen you can be over the coming weeks and months, because you remember that while we absolutely have hopes for our world, our hope is not from this world. Our hope is in the maker and redeemer of heaven and earth.