First Corinthians 13:13: And now remaineth: faith, hope, and love.
Most Christians who have been exposed to faith teaching have an understanding of faith and love. Yet hope seems to be greatly misunderstood. Hope is much more than a desire or a wish, and it is not something that works against faith. Simply the fact that it is mentioned here with faith and love shows how important it is to victorious living. The Amplified Bible expands on the definition of hope by saying it is a “joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” This is a far cry from a wish.
Joyful and confident expectation indicates extreme confidence that something will happen in the future. The Bible speaks of our blessed hope, which is the glorious appearing of our Lord at His return. But hope has a more expanded role than simply waiting for Jesus to come back. Hope is the anchor of our soul in this life.
Hebrews 6:18-19 (New Living Translation)
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
One of the most widely used stories from Jesus’ time on earth regarding faith comes from the woman with the issue of blood. This woman had to have been one of the most hope-filled people Jesus ever encountered. Think about all she endured up until the time when she “heard of Jesus.”
- She had a constant loss of blood for 12 years. Overwhelming symptoms of weakness were with her at all times.
- She suffered many things of many physicians. Doctor after doctor took her money for painful treatments with no improvement.
- She spent all she had and was no better but kept getting worse. If you were to graph her life for twelve years, it would reveal a constant decline. There were no breaks or seasons of relief. Her physical condition got worse, while losing all of her money.
Here’s the bottom line…this woman never gave up! She was a fighter, never lost her hope. The day came when her hope became her reality. Her hope was the anchor for her soul, and it led her into faith that even astonished Jesus! The will to live and the hope for better is a very powerful thing. In my opinion, hope may well be the ultimate survival skill.
Romans 5:3-4:…knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
This Scripture is a perfect illustration of how it all works together.
- Trials present opportunities to use your faith in God’s Word, which produces endurance.
- Endurance (standing until you see the victory) gives you experiences in seeing the manifestation of your faith.
- Faith experiences give you a confident expectation that when you apply your faith during the next trial, your faith is going to get results just like it did before.
In this way, hope builds your faith and you continue to gain confidence in God’s Word to you. Our greatest hope is looking for and anticipating the Lord’s return. He gave us His Word that He would come back to get us. But don’t get stuck in place just waiting for that day. Jesus also told us that until that day arrives we must occupy here on earth. The only way to do that with victory in the midst of this dark and perverted world is to hold fast to the anchor of our souls: the hope of a daily, empowering fellowship with Him.
We will be returning to Ukraine in the middle of October. Thank you, my covenant partner, for your faithfulness in sending us to reach the world. While in Ukraine, we will minister in two ministers’ conferences along with some local churches. If you would like to sow towards this trip, you can do so here. Please designate it by selecting “Ukraine 2019.” Your harvest is GREAT!