Hope in Times of Hopelessness
In First Corinthians 13, we learn that, as supernatural spiritual gifts were replaced by the complete revealed will of God, three gifts now abide: faith, hope and love.
Let’s take a moment to consider whether the spiritual gift of hope is playing its proper role in our lives. Let’s first understand what hope is. The inspired text uses the Greek word ἐλπίς, or elpis, which Vine defines as: “favourable and confident expectation”, further explaining that the term has to do with “the unseen and future”. There is a trust implied: the spiritual gift of hope is associated with realistic and likely expectations. Our hope is an expression of our faith, in so much as faith means we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see. What do we hope for? There’s a hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:23), a hope of salvation (Romans 8:24 – 25), a hope of resurrection (Acts 23:6), and a hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2), to touch upon a few of the highlights. Right now, though, I would like for you to consider how the spiritual gift of hope works in times of hopelessness. Samson, David, and many other celebrated men full of the Holy Spirit fell into grievous sins. Not so celebrated men, like me, have done the same. Job and Jeremiah cursed the day of their birth; Elijah and Jonah were weary of life and desired death. In the face of hopelessness, they all drew upon the spiritual gift of hope. We put hope in to action when we are pure (First John 3:3), joyful (Romans 12:12), anchored (Hebrews 6:19), and watchful (Galatians 5:5). Hope is most important in times of hopelessness.