“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Hope builds dreams on faith in a future. When our eyes opened to catch the first light of our first day, we were surrounded by the hopes of those who love us and care for us. They had faith in the potential of our birth, growth, and development. And hope is contagious. We learn to look forward in hope.
As the days turn to weeks, months, and years, we experienced the fulfillment of some of the hopes of those who love us and the hopes we have adopted and adapted as our own. Yet often we have been forced to adjust our hopes when they have been dashed. But we have not given up hope; we only have created new hopes.
Hope doesn’t actually see the future. It anticipates a future we believe is possible. The rubble of our dashed hopes teaches us to be resilient, optimistic, and most often, ready again to place stone upon stone to build a new hope. What a blessing that is! Our lives need to be filled with hope.
Yet, we often ignore the more difficult lesson: All our hopes are temporary. And the dark side of that lesson is that we are temporary. We have a sunset ahead of us when we will be unable to create a new hope or a new dream for tomorrow.
In the face of that lesson some simply believe that they can continue to create new hopes after the sunset but in a different world. Others choose not to think beyond the sunset of life. They resign themselves to what they see and know from life’s experience. They conclude that our hopes and dreams here on earth are all there is.
God does not leave us in that bleak present or in the darkness of the unknown future. He has given us a new set of eyes to see the present and the future. We don’t see ourselves as others who do not share our vision.
We see our ups and downs—our realized hopes and our dashed ones—differently. God has opened our eyes to see that “in Christ Jesus [we] are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26). Our faith rests on Jesus. We face each day with hope. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). That means we can face joy, sorrow, pleasure, pain, acclaim, or persecution, knowing he will care for us as his dearly loved children.
God also corrects our vision to see that we are more than temporary residents with an expiration date. As children of God, we see ourselves as aliens here in the days God allows us. As all believers before us, we know that “here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). As Jesus promised, we have eternal life (John 3:16). Our hope rests on his promises, and we “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
So whether our hopes are realized here or dashed, we have hope for each day and the eternity beyond the sunset of our lives. We have an inheritance “that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for [us]” (1 Peter 1:4).
Author: John Braun
Volume 109, Number 11
Issue: November 2022