Discouragement is the diminishing of hope, and depression is the loss of hope altogether. How important it is for all of us to have hope, for without it we’re doomed to despair.
One of the important ingredients in our relationship with Christ is the element of HOPE. We have His promise that we will go to heaven when we die; and we have His promise that He will come again and take us to be with Him. So whether we die or whether we are raptured, we live with hope. In fact, Paul says in Romans 8:24, “we are saved by hope.”
Well, in 1 Corinthians 13:7, we are told that there are four things that love always does, and the third thing is that love “hopes all things.” In other words, love and hope go together. Where there is love – there will always be hope.
The word “hope” is a Greek word (elpizei) of expectation and prospect. It allows you to anticipate the future. No matter how bad it is now, if there is hope – there is a confidence that it will be better tomorrow. Hope is a word that transports you into the future on the wings of anticipation.
Our son and daughter-in-law are missionaries in Eastern Europe. They have four children born to them (beautiful grandchildren by the way), and they live in Bratislava, Slovakia. Recently they adopted a 1-1/2 year old little girl from one of the state orphanages. That little girl had been abandoned by her mother and lived with very little hope for the future. But then our son and wife – a wonderful Christian family – reached out to her and loved her. And suddenly her whole world changed. Because she is loved, she now lives with hope.
Now that is a beautiful example of what Christ has done for us. He has adopted us into His family, and He has given us hope for the future. He reached out to us in His love, and where there is love, there is hope.
Now you know the real meaning of the word. Say! Let those you love know that you love them. It will encourage them, and fill them with hope.