The Gift Of Hope
The obscure gift
I recently spoke with a friend of mine and asked him what he thought about the gift of Hope , he hadn’t thought about it to much. I suppose most don’t really think about it too much. It seems strange considering God’s Word ranks it as the second greatest gift, only excelled by Love itself. It seems that the gifts that are most visible are the ones sought after. While we cannot judge motives, it makes you wonder if the “approval of man” is in play. How do I know that it’s the second greatest gift you might ask.
1 Cor 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The order in which things appear in the Bible is of great significance, though that’s not the focus of this article. Suffice it to say we have three gifts mentioned and the third (Love) is listed as the greatest. This makes Hope even greater than Faith but less than Love. And it’s obscure enough that while we are aware of it, we don’t usually even consider it a gift. So what is it that makes it so great a gift, and how is it expressed? To do that we should define what Hope is.
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary puts it this way: HOPE An expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired.
The other thing is to view it from God’s perspective and not man’s. Let me illustrate this, let’s say I buy a lottery ticket, I really hope to win. I could really use the money 😃. I’d say that’s probably not going to happen. Chances are slim. That is man’s perspective of hope, but it’s not a sure thing, quite the opposite. Let’s compare that to God’s perspective .
Hebrews 6:17-20 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
You will note that this Hope is based on God’s inability to lie, when He could swear by no greater He made an oath based on His inability to lie and His own character. This Hope might in the vernacular of man, be called a “sure thing”. There is no possible way that it can fail. This is the gift of Hope that is made readily available to any who would receive it. One thing about gifts is that if they are exercised, they increase.
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
God truly wants us to abound in Hope. So on what basis is this Hope founded? Simply put, it’s on the basis of His resurrection. His resurrection is the proof that God was satisfied for the price paid for our sins, His death instead of us, available to all who receive Him as Lord. Because He lives, so do we, and for eternity, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Have you ever watched a ship in a storm? They will let down the anchor, typically from the bow (the front of the ship). It will latch on to the ocean floor and keep them from drifting, this enables the ship to avoid shipwreck on rocks along the shore or reefs that could sink them, this is the idea behind “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul”. Not only that but our anchor is set on a rock that cannot be moved, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Talk about a “sure Hope”. So in the storms of life our sure Hope allows us to weather the storm, no matter what it is. No wonder it is listed as the second greatest gift that is available to us.