1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Hope is listed among the three abiding forces of the Christian life in contrast to things that shall cease to be needed or shall come to the end of their usefulness. We are headed toward a perfect eternal state of existence after the redemption of our body (either by a resurrection or the rapture) where certain provisions from God will not be needed because we’ll know things on a different level. Hope, though, along with faith and love will remain permanent.
Just as every believer has had to learn that faith and love are spiritual forces, learn how to walk in them, and apply them so the same must be done with hope. Hope is God’s force of eternal optimism that’s available to work in every believer. It creates a confident and favorable expectation within us and a favorable outlook for the future. Since hope creates an inner future picture in us let me add or describe it as the force of Heaven’s Optimistic Pictures Encouraging us. When we have hope we can expect and confidently anticipate the good things in the Word of God to become a reality in our lives.
The amount of hope working in our heart determines how we view the circumstances around us as well as our view of the future. Everyone interprets the world around them, their circumstances or things that have happened to them largely in either negative terms or positive terms; either pessimistically which is the general tendency to expect the worst or optimistically which is the general tendency to expect the best. Just from natural research the evidence is overwhelming that optimists are more likely to live happier, longer, healthier, and satisfying lives. Generally speaking optimism is linked to higher achievement, lower rates of depression, fewer infectious diseases, stronger immune systems, and better responses to medical treatments for certain life threatening illnesses.
Two people can look at the same situations and have two different outlooks. Joshua and Caleb and the 10 spies – one group, the majority, said we cannot, there are giants and we are grasshoppers in their sight. The other two said we are well able, the enemy is bread for us. Same giant, yet two different opinions. In the story of Goliath – the men of Israel full of fear said, he is too big, we cannot go out against him. David said, he is so big, I cannot miss him.” It is the force of hope that can enable us to see beyond what is a natural limitation and see God’s unlimited resource and ability.