- Love also depends on hope. Hopeless people do not love well. They may want to, but it’s just not in them. Hopelessness is a kind of quicksand. It causes a person to sink further and further into himself rather than to move out of himself toward God (faith) and toward people (love).
2) Hope also protects us. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 calls the hope of salvation a helmet. The person without that helmet is vulnerable—especially, it seems, in regard to his or her thoughts. Hope shields us from harmful thoughts that can penetrate our minds and cause injury.
3) Hope does something else: It stabilizes us and keeps us from drifting or being blown off course. This is Hebrews 6:19: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” The Book of Hebrews constitutes one long warning against drifting away from God. Hope is the anchor that keeps that from happening.
My son Kevin and I were once fishing in Quebec from a boat that was anchored about 100 yards above a small waterfall. (I say small, but it probably dropped 30 feet over a course of a couple of hundred yards.) Without that anchor, the current would have carried us into pain and loss. And without hope, the strong currents of this age will carry you and your family where you do not want to go.
4) Hope does something else. We all have things that don’t belong in our lives: fears, prejudices, lusts, and resentments. Anger lives in us. Gossip settles into our conversations. Greed becomes a mindset. These things are hard to dislodge even when we are doing well spiritually. But they are impossible to dislodge when we don’t have hope.
Hope is the environment in which sinful habits can be removed and replaced. St. John, writing about our great hope, says, “Everyone who has this hope in [Christ] purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). Purifies himself. Removing those sinful habits – we’ve tried again and again – can only succeed when we have hope.
With hope we can endure trials that would otherwise derail us. Hope enables us to work harder, better, and with more satisfaction. Hope provides opportunities to tell others about Jesus and gives us the boldness to seize those opportunities. It keeps us from getting carried off-course by the strong currents of the age. It makes it possible to remove the engrained habits that plague our lives, obstruct out love, and dishonor our God. Obviously, we need hope.