READ : Hebrews 10:23, 35-36
The second vital sign of the Spirit is the image of HOPE not hope for a win in an athletic contest, a throw of a dice, or a hope in people but an abundant hope.
Hope is one of the most difficult words in the Bible to translate according to Dr. Eugene Nida. In other cultures it is often expressed as “waiting and desiring.” The Valientes in Panama hope in God very pictorially by “resting the mind in God.” The Maya language says, “on what it hangs,” which means, “We hang onto God.” 1 Faith and love grow in this soil of waiting and desiring, and make our hope sure in the expectation of God’s grace during times of stress and uncertainty.
To abandon this waiting and desiring, or hope, is hell as Dante put it in his Divine Comedy. He was right, for, when we give up then we deny our faith, stifle our creative impulses and reduce ourselves to just self-preservation. Our Christian hope cannot be separated from the faithfulness of God (v. 23). The costs of loyal obedient faith are high. Great patience is required to do the will of God and realize his promises. It demands our courage to endure every test, to run every risk, to discover and love the truth (vv. 35, 36, TEV).
1God’s Word in Man’s Language, Harper & Row, p. 19.
Gracious God, may we remember the martyrs who gave their life for their beliefs, and may that memory sustain our hope.