Thanks for coming back to learn more about HOPE through this Advent series of devotionals.
Did you ever make up a Christmas wish list when you were a child? Most of us grew up also making a wish before blowing out the candles on our birthday cake. As we go through this study on hope, have you wondered what the difference is between wishing and hoping?
When I asked Google about the difference, I got this reply: “The difference between hoping and wishing is that hope comes from real, objective reasons that the future is going to be different from the past. Anything other than that is simply a wish that comes from your desires.”
Yesterday, we saw that patience is an important element of hope, but there is another element that is fundamental, and it separates hope from a mere wish. What is that other element that walks with patience and hope? Faith! As Hebrews 11:1 says, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” I like that definition. Confident assurance!
None of us have yet seen Heaven, yet we believe that it is objectively real and we will go there one day. When that day arrives, we will no longer need either faith or hope. Both will already be fulfilled in Heaven. That is why, in 1 Corinthians 13:13, we see that three things are essential – faith, hope and love – but the greatest of these is love. Why? Because love alone continues on through eternity.
Take time today to close your eyes. You can’t see the things in the room around you, but are they any less real? Let’s fix our hope on those things we cannot yet see but which are no less real!