Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What Does it Mean to HOPE?

So, I'm thinking about Love always hopes this week. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
One of the things my Precepts participation has drilled into me is to go to the source, rather than to rely on my own ideas. And when I do that, I typically discover that my own ideas fall dismally short of God's intended meaning.
My idea of hope was no exception.
And I think I'm a pretty hope-full person!
However, if I defined hope according to my own understanding I would say something like, Hope is trusting God to do what He says He will do, even when it looks unlikely. But when I looked at the Greek word used for hope in 1 Corinthians 13:7, I felt like my understanding of hope was embarrassingly passive.
Check this out:
The Greek word for hope in 1 Corinthians 13:7 is elpizo. It comes from elpis, which means "to hope, actively waiting for God's fulfillment about the faith He has inbirthed through the power of His love." I mean, I think I was on the right track when I said hope means to trust God to do what He says He will do. But the words "actively waiting" in this definition completely change the picture for me.
That is, I don't believe Love simply sits back and says, "Well, the situation may look bleak at the moment - but I am full of confidence that God will pull through for us." While it's good to say such words, I believe Love (according to the definition of elpizo) is a lot more involved. I believe Love prays for the individuals and circumstances involved in a situation. I believe Love speaks words of hope to those people who are also waiting for the fulfillment of God's plan. I believe Love is like a cheer-leader who comes alongside the discouraged and down-trodden and lifts them up with encouragement and Truth.
God's Word says Love always hopes. And I am convinced that means Love is a whole lot more than a bundle of positivity and wishful thinking. This study of love is showing me that Love is an action. A dynamic force which believes God and seeks to help others do the same.

Yes, I believe that is what HOPE looks like through the eyes of Love. And I pray God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, will enable me to be Love to the world around me.
Starting with the world that lives in my home.


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