Hope is a verb

Saturday, September 19, 2020

In these times it is hard to have hope. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died yesterday, and I heard someone say today, their voice shaking, holding back tears, "Hope is annoying because it requires something from us." That rung true, and got me to thinking: 

If it is true that God is love, then perhaps it is equally true that God is hope. 

I know John didn't say it, but I just did. That would mean that hope is a living Someone who requires something from us. Hope asks us to act. 

I've always thought of hope as passively believing in an unlikely outcome. But I'm starting to see that hope comes from our actions, just like love does.

To put it differently, I'm sure you've heard that "love is a verb." While Hollywood thinks of love as a feeling, Jesus saw love as an action. Love is something you do. It is an act.

I'm learning that hope is a verb too. Hope is not a feeling. Hope is not passive. Hope is an act  which is inseparably tied to acts of love, to acts of justice. Adding in justice there brings in a third thing, but really they are all tied together.

Taking this a step further, we are made in the image of God. That means we are made for love, made to be loved and to love others. It is our life blood. 

I feel bad right now. But I don't have to feel good, I just have to keep doing good, and as I act in hope I am moving with God. 

If God is hope, then we are also made for hope. To live in God is to live in love and to live in hope. To move with God is to move in love and to move in hope. So I dare you to move.






At 6:04 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for your encouraging post. We live in hope for a better future.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This definition of hope helps develop some of Chris Hedges criticisms of magical fantasy version of hope which rather than enabling and motivating, excuses and disengages people from good work. Personifying hope grounds it and makes it tangible while at the same time demanding that whatever hope we hold to also be concrete and lived out.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger captjbeppler.blogspot.com said...

I saw your panel discussionfrom two months ago on YouTube I enjoyed your benediction "Follow Jesus." I enjoyed the whole interview.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Agellius said...

I don't think 'God is hope' can be a true statement. As St. Paul says, "Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" Rom. 8:24.

This is similar to "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 11:1.

And again, "But now abide faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13.

Love is the greatest because it will exist for all eternity. Faith and hope will no longer exist in eternity because we will know directly the thing we believe in, namely God, and therefore will have no need for "the evidence of things not seen"; and we will already possess that which we hoped for, again God, and "Who hopes for what he already has?"

If we will no longer have hope in eternity, then God can't be hope since we'll have God.


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