Friday, April 16, 2010

Perseverance, Character, Hope

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

~Romans 5:3-5 (NIV).

Hope is the very objective life. Where we have it all the resources of life are otherwise available. Where we don’t have it, we struggle for the meaning and purpose of even simply breathing. It is our heavenly contingency.

Hope is ignition—an initiation. It ignites our day with power and powers us through, even through the turbulence as we settle at last at cruising altitude.

Hope is hence also the outcome. Hope is the place we arrive at when our wellbeing is shored up with the positive outlook where the immediate future looks bright. We look forward and we like what we see.

But hope, as far as a faculty of character is concerned, is built—we access hope most consistently when we engage with life in such ways that even in our worst circumstances we can persevere in our suffering; the necessary condition of living this life.

As Paul says above, perseverance produces character, and character, hope.

Hope, once we have it, suggests we have the means of tapping into the Spirit’s power, both actively i.e. in this life, and transcendently i.e. in the next life. We ought to never be just glibly thankful for the Holy Spirit, God’s gift of his Presence with us. We know God now.

So, we have both hope and the Spirit’s power—and these combined—for wisdom, truth and the power of hope. This hope that does not put us to shame works with the power of God—that we can be saved, in and through Jesus Christ and his work on the cross—the redemption of humankind; the holy and “active” love of God.

When I’m most full of hope all I need is the sunshine or a rainy day... either will do. I’m ensconced with pure delight for life and for the living. Hope speaks of love and joy and grace and peace... a meld of lovely virtue.

When we’re hopeful nothing distracts our pure attention. And even if it does distract all distractions are rendered welcome. Hope is home to all things good, peaceable and resplendently “now.”

Hope is the mood of the day in the servant of God at home in the Holy Spirit—he that came as proof of the transaction of redemption unto salvation.

Do you know this love of God poured into our hearts via the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Do you know hope, yes, today?

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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