James Edwards, and his wife Tammy, are the C3 Oxford Fall's Young Adults Pastors. James also oversees our Sunday Night services. Join us as we continue to discuss Faith, Hope and Love from 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
1 Cor 13:8-13 (ESV)
“8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
WHAT IS HOPE?
Hope is the compound emotion of desire and expectation.
You don’t have hope unless you are have a desire for something of value and are expectant in what you desire to come to pass.
When you lose hope, you stop expecting and you stop desiring.
An example of this in in my life is golf. I have a love hate relationship with golf, because golf has this cruel way of luring you in with desire and expectation. Every golfer has that number that they would love to get to (a desire), and every game starts out with a sense of the possibility of what could be (expectations), but at the end of every game my scorecard reveals the crushing reality of what is. And I lose the desire for the game entirely. Until the next time I see a course and like a siren she calls me back.
Some of us live our lives aiming for a score but consistently disheartened with the results.
WHY DO WE LOSE HOPE?
Proverbs 13:12 says,
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
The reason some of us have had our hope dashed so often is because we are hoping in things that are temporal, and even if attained will never be enough. As soon as I get money, I find myself wanting more. I get the job and then I want the promotion; as soon as I get the car, my friend gets a better car.
All these things are in themselves are not bad to desire, God wants to give you the desires of your heart, but they are the icing and not the cake, he wants you to desire him and not his hand.
All this world can offer will never be enough until He is more then enough.
HOW DO WE KEEP OUR HOPE ALIVE?
When we set our hope in the temporal, our hope will be temporal, but when our hope is in Christ, we place our hope in the eternal.
This hope cannot be diminished by the realities of life in front of me, because my hope is not in what I see but in who He is!
If we think back to Genesis God told Abraham that he would be the Father of many nations, but at 100 years old, with Sarah long passed the years of child bearing you would forgive Abraham for doubting, and he did.
But the reason he is considered to be the father of all who believed was because when all looked hopeless, he remained hopeful by putting his hope in God.
Romans 4:18 (MSG) says,
“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do”
Your hearts may be deflated, sick, and downcast, but he can flood it with light, with fresh revelation of who your hope is in.
And Ephesians 1:18 says,
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”
It’s Christ who is your hope, Christ is the rock on which you stand, Christ is the light in the dark, Christ is the hope of your glory.
Our hope is not in what we are yet to attain but in what he has already attained.
You have an eternity waiting for you that provides for you an eternal, living hope.
You may never get the car you wanted, the job you thought you’d get or even the golf score you so desperately desire, but life vs. eternity, I’m placing my hope in a glory that will never spoil.
Remain hopeful in the hope that is in Christ.