The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

Defining What It Means to Hope All Things

A loving person is optimistic for other Christians. He anticipates there will be a good outcome. And he demonstrates that spiritual optimism by never “bailing out” on another brother or sister. He remains with them until the end.

He doesn’t read the newspaper or watch the evening news and see the turmoil and evil that is spreading and the panic about the future. He remains hopeful that God will render judgment when it is time. Hoping in all things is a confident optimism that righteousness will prevail. John MacArthur explains,

“Love refuses to take failure as final. The rope of love’s hope has no end. As long as there is life, love does not lose hope. When our hope becomes weak, we know that our love has become weak.”[1]

Love hopes all things. A loving person remains confident and hopeful. Charles Spurgeon calls the unloving person who doesn’t live in agreement with this description a spot-finder. Here is how he explains it,

“We should be merciful to one another in seeking never to look at the worst side of a brother’s character.  Oh, how quick some are to spy out other people’s faults!  They hear that Mr. So-and-so is very useful in the church, and they say, ‘Yes, he is, but he has a very curious way of going to work, has he not?  And he is so eccentric.’ Well, did you ever know a good man who was very successful, who was not a little eccentric? …

“Do you go out when the sun is shining brightly and say, ‘Yes, this sun is a very good illuminator, but I remark that it has spots’?  If you do, you had better keep your remark to yourself, for it gives more light than you do, whatever spots you may have or may not have. And many excellent persons in the world have spots, but yet they do good service to God and to their age.

“So let us not always be the spot-finders, but let us look at the bright side of the brother’s character rather than the dark one, and feel that we rise in repute when other Christians rise in repute, and that, as they have honor through their holiness, our Lord has the glory of it, and we share in some of the comfort of it.”[2]

We are not to be spot-finders, but hopers in all things. Paul wrote in Romans 12:11-12

11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

A Biblical Example of NOT Hoping All Things

A negative example of losing hope could be the Corinthian church. In Ch. 15, Paul reminds them about the resurrection, and because the tone of the letter has been one of rebuke, we assume they had failed to remember where all of this was headed. They had likely lost hope in the resurrection and needed to be reminded that is a microcosm of how they didn’t love each other either.

You could also consider the most desperate of unloving, unhopeful people – Judas (Matt 26:47-56; 27:3-10). His desire for redemption and freedom wasn’t from his own sin but political release from Roman influence. When he came to realize Jesus didn’t come to be a political Redeemer, Judas lost all hope that life would ever be fulfilling. He felt betrayed by Jesus and turned him over for a bag of silver and committed suicide.

A Biblical Example of Hoping All Things

Consider Job. After these horrific details of the loss of his family, livestock and livelihood were made known to him, Job made a series of loving statements that boggle the human mind and show Job’s hopeful love for his Lord.

And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord’” (Job 1:21).

He was hopeful that God would care for him … always. Later, he spoke very literally about his own hopeful redemption in eternity –

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27).

Love is hopeful. It hopes all things.

 ————

[1] 1 Corinthians, pg. 354

[2] http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/rayortlund/2015/10/25/let-us-not-be-the-spot-finders//

[3] Source unknown

Love

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