Love “always hopes.” I Cor. 13:7
” I hope I get the job. I have bill collectors calling me all the time.”
“I hope she recovers from surgery. But chances aren’t good.”
“I hope I get the Gameboy I want for Christmas.”
“I hope I win the lottery. It would take care of so many problems.”
It is amazing to me how many of the terms associated with love have been redefined and weakened with time and use. It is no wonder “love” itself is a term so loosely thrown around in our society.
So what is hope? First as it is used here in I Cor.13:7 it is a verb. It is something we do. When I love someone, in acting out that love, I hope.
The word is : ἐλπίζω elpizō – 1) to hope
a) in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence
2) hopefully to trust in
Today when someone says “I hope so.” it is usually in the sense of a wish or a fond longing.
Most people really mean “That would be nice.”
But to hope is really to confidently expect and wait for something you know is going to happen to come to pass. Our kids are hoping when they stand out on the corner waiting for the school bus to show up on those chilly winter mornings. We are hoping when we write a check on Saturday against our direct deposit that goes in on Fridays.
Now in order to hope we have to have a hope.
I love one of the Hebrew words for hope, tiqvah . While it is usually translated as “a hope”, it can also be translated as “a cord”. How neat is that? Hope is a cord. Now what do cords do? They tie us to things.
Picture yourself hanging off a sheer cliff a hundred feet from the ground below. Between you and a fall that would bring certain death is only the strong rope tied about your waist and the anchor above. Your hope is the cord and the thing it is tied to above your line of vision.
Let’s make the obvious observation then that the problem with many people is that they have tied themselves to a dead birch tree with a ball of kite twine. Their hope is placed in something that can never support the weight of their lives. If I am climbing down a hundred foot cliff I want a mighty, powerful climbing cable wrapped snuggly around my chunky form. Further I want that cable wrapped around a great big oak tree in the prime of life. In short I want God the Infallible, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent as my Tiqvah.
When Paul writes “love always hopes.” He is saying that love is a God thing. He is saying love is powerful because it ties itself to The Great Oak with The Mighty Cable of Jesus Christ.
When in love I hope, I am actually involving God in the working out of my relationships. Further I am believing that He will take care of those issues in my “love life” which are beyond me. In this way I am able to do the next two things on Paul’s “love list.”
Send me your thoughts!