The Purpose of Hope: Not What Many Think

Purpose of Hope

It’s more than just the grayness and the cold of winter. There seems to be a lot of pain and heartache everywhere you look right now.

Many are in desperate need for God to reach out and give them… hope.

So I looked to the scriptures for a little inspiration, a little nugget of optimism to give those who are hurting around me. And there was a constant theme that kept coming up – one that took me a little by surprise and one that I just couldn’t get away from.

It all centers around God’s purpose for hope.

A Man-Centered Longing

My initial impulse was that hope was given to us to keep us from drowning in despair. Hope is a salve, a medicine that eases our pain.

I went searching for a hope that would put a refreshing smile on someone’s face. A hope that would ease burdens.

But when I peeled the layers back, why was I looking for hope? What did I want hope to accomplish? What did I think was the purpose of hope?

The truth struck hard. My search for hope was man-centered. I wanted a hope to make people feel better – for God to enable us to enjoy our lives. The purpose of hope in my eyes was better sleep, less anxiety, and the promise of prosperity.

Struck by the Scriptures

But again and again, the scriptures kept hitting me with a theme: the real purpose of hope.

Hebrews 6:11-12
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:3, hope gives us steadfastness. In Romans 15, hope helps us love each other.

In Titus 2, the hope of the second coming of Christ gives us endurance to live rightly and be zealous for good works.

The purpose of hope goes beyond just calming us. We are soothed by hope – but not so that we can cuddle up all warmly and enjoy ourselves.

Hope helps us cope so that we can keep going. Keep loving. Keep fighting. Keep living righteously. Keep believing. Keep resisting sin. Keep working. Keep resting. Keep giving. Keep serving.

Be Encouraged

So read about hope. Think about hope. Soak it in.

But not just so that you smile more or can sleep more easily at night.

Hope in God to be encouraged and strengthened to serve and love more.

Photo Credit: Keoni Cabral (Creative Commons)

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