I was texting my girlfriend today about how her week was going. We are both currently riding the same struggle bus with our teens and it’s quite a roller coaster at times. I was trying to encourage us by sharing some thoughts from 2 Peter which says we have everything we need to do our job as mama’s when out of the blue, a thought popped into my mind…..
Love is greater than Hope
I work with clients who, at times, become very depressed, even suicidal. In those moments I pray for wisdom to help them find hope to cling to. Hope is a beautiful and precious belief that meets us in our dark places to give us a glimmer of light. It empowers us to keep going, when quitting feels like the most rational choice. So I have often wondered about the verse that says, “Now these three remain- faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Why is love bigger and better than hope? As I was mulling over these thoughts I realized something new. While hope allows us to keep believing we can move forward, love gives us the reason we would want to. Hope is how we find strength to face tomorrow, love is why.
I do not usually enjoy American Idol auditions because it is so painful to watch people who have a firm delusional belief about their abilities make a fool of themselves. I get so embarrassed for them, I just have to walk away. When your hope is placed in the wrong source it can be a trainwreck. On national TV sometimes. If we do not understand why we hope, then we may begin to hope in the wrong things. Finances, relationships, our looks, careers, children, houses….. All unstable and unworthy sources of lasting hope.
“…we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character, hope. And our hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through His Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
The hope we have in Christ will never be misplaced because His love has proven Him to be trustworthy. It is not my love that I lean on, but His love for me that creates hope. I can hope confidently for Him to work all things together for the good, because I have seen at the cross His love that led Him to suffer in my place and then work even his death for the good of all who will trust in it. I can hope that even as my children struggle through their teenage years, the love that took their place at the cross will never stop pursuing them. And as I ride the roller coaster of adolescence with my children, I can hope, not in them getting it all right, or even me getting it all right. But instead that Jesus got it right in all our places, and that His love will never fail or fade.