Good morning! Christians contribute to His Kingdom with a love that holds in hope. God’s love holds His people. This tri-fold expression that Paul gives is that which is all about holding on in hope. We must remind ourselves that this hope is not as we normally use as a verb: I hope this will happen. This is desire coupled with uncertainty. This is a noun use of the word: We have a hope of what is to come. This is desire coupled with certainty. Paul spoke of this in Romans 8:18-21 says:
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
The world is a mess. Yet, the world will not always be this way. The reason the world is the way it is, is that the curse of sin that taken hold. Adam and Eve ushered in that curse of sin when they turned away from the word of God and listened to the word of Satan, the enemy of all things godly. He has deceived the minds of all into thinking that the world is a good place and that the only sin is not doing what you want to do.
Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a distinguished minister, Dr. Howard, from Australia who preached very strongly on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers came to counsel with him in the study. “Dr. Howard,” he said, “we don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin. The minister took down a small bottle and showing it to the visitor said,
You see that label? It says strychnine — and underneath in bold, red letters the word ‘Poison!’ Do you know, man, what you are asking me to do? You are suggesting that I change the label. Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, ‘Essence of Peppermint’; don’t you see what might happen? Someone would use it, not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die. So it is, too, with the matter of sin. The milder you make your label, the more dangerous you make your poison!
The more we understand the poison this world has taken, the more we rejoice in the hope. The more patient we are. And the more we shall pray to the one who shall redeem us out of this world. I came across this quote from Martin Luther, “The fewer the words, the better the prayer. To have prayed well is to have studied well.” Some say, “I don’t need to study much. That seems to take away from the Spirit.” God calls us to study and study much and study well. Pastors are called to partake in prayer and the ministry of the Word as an example for those under our charge. Some of the greatest joys I have is praying to God to help me understand His Word, then studying His Word and studying others who have studied—and this fuels my preaching and praying even more.