On the wall above my bed, the vinyl words, “Faith, Hope, and Love” rest. I look at the phrase multiple times a day. The words remind me of what is important. In chapter thirteen of 1 Corinthians, these three foundations are listed as being the things which remain, like the bones of a structure—our lives.
I see hope—sandwiched in the middle of faith and love—like an elusive mist there one moment and gone the next. You can’t see it, but you sense it, like the evidence of the wind on the waves. As Hebrew 11:1 says, “Faith is the evidence of things hoped for . . .”
In my life I perceive a visual image of faith as a large body of water—always there and too big to dry up. Faith has come in waves over the years, starting small but ever increasing. Some seasons play out stormy, while others roll along steady and sure.
Love, the greatest of these three, challenges me constantly. At the heart, Love is a choice, not a feeling, emotion, or infatuation. Choosing to love will always better your life and others, but it means sacrifice. And sacrifice demands a lot.
Hope. Without it we are doomed, dwelling in the badlands of destruction of one kind or another. Without hope there is nothing to live for. I know because I have been to such a hopeless place.
One of my favorite words pertaining to the Christmas season is hope. Emmanuel came embodied in hope. I think of Mary, trusting God and putting hope in a small, helpless baby. She hoped in the words of the angel when he told her she would bring forth the savior of the world. When she looked at her infant, I believe she saw the promise: the one who would make a way to restore mankind’s relationship to God the Father.
Even secular, cheesy Christmas-themed movies get it right with the element of restoration and reconciliation, which is often portrayed. Everyone wants to be home and reunited with loved ones at Christmas. We hope for love, joy, and peace.
I see Christ as the literal evidence of things hoped for.
If you’re a believer, light a candle of hope today, remembering why he came.