You would think Hope doesn’t have much to do with “fruit” (my One Word), and the verse I’m choosing this month–somewhere titled “Work and Endurance How-to”–doesn’t have much to do with Hope. Which is why you need to “stay tuned”. ;)
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) Now you can see the work-hope relation. As far as fruit, you actually don’t have to think far to realize that hope can produce fruit/results. This verse is talking about work prompted by love, but for those times when the feeling of love wears thin, hope in Christ will (hopefully :P) take over and helps us to keep on keeping on (“endurance”), with that work… that produces fruit.
What is “hope in the Lord Jesus Christ”, exactly? Some people tend to think of it as hope in the afterlife, of being in heaven when we die… and that’s it. We must endure all kinds of suffering on earth, but we can endure it because of the hope that suffering will be no more, in that Day of heaven. That is true, but there is SO much more to it!
I’ve been thinking lately, of the myriad things that we have hope for, because of following Christ:
- that God hears our prayers, and knows our every groan
- that He knows what’s best, and sometimes answers “no” because of that
- that He has an ultimate plan, and is always working towards that plan; directing our lives and involving us in His purposes
- that He is able to give us joy and peace, amidst the turmoil
- that His resurrection power is able to conquer even our own inadequacies, no matter how long it takes, or how many times we have to keep asking for forgiveness
- that His creation is always there to help us respond with worship
- that His character is worthy of worship; He never changes
- that His Word is able to inspire faith, and reveal truth, every time we read it
I could go on and on! Maybe I’ll keep coming back to add more…