“There are three things that will last — faith, hope, and love…” (1Corinthians 13:13)
When Paul tells us there are three things that will endure, have you ever wondered why one of them is hope? The other two are love and faith: love will last because God is love, and faith is the way we know God. But why is hope one of the three?
Hope is the conviction that something good exists in this world and we are going to experience it. God plants hope in the hearts of people and it keeps them going. While studying psychology in college we analyzed the 25,000 suicides in 1952. Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and sociologists determined that those people committed suicide because they lost hope. That same year a man committed suicide by jumping off the top of my dormitory which was located where Hope Street ended in front of the Los Angeles Public Library. The newspaper reported that he jumped to his death at the end of Hope Street. That accentuated what we learned in the classroom, big time!
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Millions of people will gather in families and extended families to celebrate, but many millions more will be alone. Pastors and those who work with people know that life is unspeakably sad and millions are hope-challenged because they have experienced nothing good.
In his famous carol Philips Brooks wrote that the hopes and fears of all the years were met in Bethlehem when Christ was born. God intersected human history that night but what the Bible calls the blessed hope of the church and the only hope for the world is that God is going to do that again when Christ returns.
Are you guilty of criminal negligence because you are not sharing that hope with hope-challenged people?