“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”—1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
Faith, hope, and love, are the three defining characteristics of Christ followers. 1 Corinthians 13:13 explains that even if everything else fades, faith, hope, and love remain. Pastor David Guzik says, “The three greatest pursuits of the Christian life are not ‘miracles, power, and gifts.’ They are faith, hope, and love.” All throughout Scripture, these three distinctives are found together (Galatians 5:5–6; Colossians 1:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 5:8; 2 Timothy 1:12–13; 1 Peter 1:21–22).
Faith is “the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). Scripturally, faith and hope are inseparable. You cannot have faith without the hope of salvation, and it is impossible to have hope without believing in faith. Love is described as the greatest because it was out of God’s love for the world that He sent his son Jesus to die and be raised from death, overcoming sin, so that we could experience a life of faith and hope. Love is an attribute of God. (1 John 4:8).
Faith and love seem like very obvious pursuits of the Christian life. However, hope can oftentimes feel like an elusive concept. It may feel confusing. Hope can feel like crossing our fingers and wishing for the best. And that's exactly how many people view hope. Often times, we equate hope to a wishful thought in which the outcome is unknown. Thoughts such as, I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow or I hope my friend doesn’t get bad news on her health.
But that is the biblical word. The idea behind the word we translate as hope in the New Testament is that it's like an anchor for our souls. Not wishful thinking, but confident expectation. It’s a joyful certainty! As Christ followers, hope is having confidence that God is who He says He is, which brings forth expectation that He will do what he says He will do. Confidence is found in the character of God. As we learn who God is through reading the Word, we are able to have expectancy that his promises are true.
Biblical hope is always rooted in the future. All throughout scripture, hope is always pointed towards what is coming. It gives perspective to see beyond the current moment. Whatever you are walking through right now, be encouraged that you can hope with confident expectation.
Over the next twelve days, we are confidently expectant. As you read each day’s devotional, we pray that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV).”
Pause and Reflect: Where do I need hope?
Practice: In your journal, write down what area of life you need hope.
Pray: Ask God to give you confident expectation in who He is and in His promises.