27th October, 2020
Ministering: Pastor Dele Olubi
The word ‘hope’ is often merely mentioned when there is a need to encourage people. It is not seen by many as a critical element of the Christian faith. Going by the logic of the arrangement of the three elements in 1 Corinthians 13:13, if love is the greatest of all three then hope should be the greater. It should be noted that faith is different from hope though both are interrelated (1 Corinthians 13:7, 1 Peter 1:21).
Man was created to have expectations. Every time Israel went to war, they always proceeded with the hope of winning because they thought they always had God on their side. At some point, when they sinned against God, they were still confident of His presence, only to be disappointed. They never saw why they would lose a battle probably because of their covenant with God.
2 Samuel 17 gives the account of an army that had hope in the battlefield. At different times, Israel as a nation had hope in the battlefield and that is a prototype for us, New Testament Christians. In the battlefield, hope is one of the weapons needed. Hope is real; it is not just an abstract idea.
It is impossible to have hope without faith. Your hope is guided by faith and both hope and faith are bound by love. To have faith is to be convinced and to have hope is to be persuaded to wait or to expect. Embedded in every man is expectancy; the ability to keep hope alive, that things will get better. In the Old Testament, the literal meaning of the word translated hope is ‘cord’. Hope ties us to a thing and makes us expectant of its manifestation. Unfortunately, hope is seen as a passive thing in the natural but God sees it beyond mere optimism.
Faith is needed to believe a promise but hope is needed to receive the promise. In Genesis 12, God told Abraham to leave his father’s house, giving him a promise. In chapter 15, God came to Abraham to stir up his expectation. It can then be deduced that faith is just a starting point because those things for which we have faith requires patience, endurance and hope.
Any expectation concerning things that are seen is not hope. Hope is in things not seen. When things are without form and shapeless but deep down within you are reaching out for them, that is hope at work. Abraham is an example; when there was no reason to have hope, he still had hope (Romans 4:13-18) and he got the child God promised him. We need to keep hope alive through all that we are experiencing because in the end, the promises will be fulfilled. Hope is a needed weapon in our life’s battles as Christians.