Hope: The Forgotten Virtue Of Humanity’s Time

a ray of light against a dark cloud

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff

a ray of light against a dark cloud

It is uplifting to learn that there is still hope in this hopeless world.

Hope has been called the forgotten rectitude of humanity’s time. Although people live in an era of considerable technological and scientific achievements, it may also be an age of diminished hope. Perhaps more accurately, misdirected hope as it is tempting to replace the theological virtue of hope with shaky substitutes that cannot possibly give humanity what their souls ultimately need. People also live in an era marked by violence which can threaten hope. But what threatens hope even more today are not these tragedies and calamities, but the soft and subtle despair people settle into when they slip into ways of living that rob them of the holy good God wants for them. The problem is not that humankind hopes for too much. But they have learned to settle for so little. They have caused the horizons of hope to shrink. They have lost sight of hope’s transcendent dimension because they have forgotten the incomparable promise to which hope always beckons.

The Shape Of Christian Hope

Christian hope should never be timid or puny because when someone speaks of help from others and friends, you can rely on what someone has in mind: God. Like any friend, God desires your happiness and seeks what is best for you, but the good that God wants for you is the most prosperous and most fulfilling of all, namely God and everlasting life with God. And, like any friend, God accompanies, blesses, steadies, and encourages you so that the absolute best thing you could ever hope for will be yours. People do not achieve hope through hard work, grit, and determination. Hope is inescapably a gift. Hope is the gift God bestows on humanity so that they can turn their lives to God, seek God, and grow in the goodness and love of God. Christian hope is naturally audacious if hope arises from the yearning for something good. This is because Christian hope reaches for an unsurpassable good people already if imperfectly, possess: the very life, goodness, joy, and love of God. 

In Songs Of Eternity Treatments and Meditations on the Word of God by Reverend Dr. Linda De Coff, you will find the glorious manifesting key for your success in the highest and most enduring soul-uplifting way! The book contains 52 timeless instructions, followed by meditations for incorporating the particular Sacred Principle. All-inclusive of every subject from Divine Creation to Divine Manifestation to Divine Fulfillment, Prosperity, Immortality, Healing, and Romance. These words remind the readers that hope is not a momentary emotion, much less an attitude that fades when life is difficult, but a resilient stance toward a life marked by trust, confidence, and perseverance. Hope empowers you to live differently because a Christian understanding of hope is rooted in the unshakable conviction that God loves you and wants your good.

The Waning Hope

The greatness of one’s hope will always be in proportion to the greatness of the good on which you have set your life. But that is the problem. Hope is jeopardized not so much by the struggles, misfortunes, and sometimes inconsolable losses that come your way. If you live in a time of diminished hope, you may have lost this sense of yourself as wayfarers, as pilgrims in the world making your way to God. Instead of moving forward, you settle in and eventually do not think of yourself as going anywhere. Indeed, hope offers the spiritual and moral vision that enables people to see, appreciate and enjoy everything’s distinctive value. 

Nurturing And Practicing Hope

Hope is God’s gift to all. But since it is a virtue, it is a gift that has to be nurtured, cultivated, and practiced lest it shrivels and dies. There are many ways to ignite hope, but here are three to consider.

First, hope is nurtured and strengthened through fellowship because every time people gather for worship, they are reminded of who they are, what they are about, and where they are going.

Second, “Keeping Holy Company”, whether in a formal setting of your heartfelt choice, such as a church, synagogue or temple; or in an informal group gathering of like-minded individuals in earnest pursuit and regard for Sublime and Highest Truth… is crucial for nurturing hope because the fellowship forms individuals into people of gratitude. People whose bearing towards life is marked by praise and thanksgiving. Gratitude is a reliable path to hope. It is with gratitude that people realize that even though life does not always give them what they want, it does bless them with unexpected goods and pleasures.

Third, hope grows deeper in everyone when they commit to being ministers of hope to others. Hope grows when it is shared. It blooms when it is given away. Christian hope must be recognized as both a calling and a gift. Because God has given humanity hope, they are called to bless others with hope, especially those struggling, whose lives make no sense of purpose, are empty of meaning, or have felt estranged from anything promising. 

Final Thought

All upright and noble human conduct is hope in action. This is why people can be ministers of hope every day in the ordinary circumstances of their lives.

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