Most Christians have heard much preaching about faith and love, but, in many cases, they have heard comparatively little about hope. Such was my own condition many years ago when I was in desperate need of help from God. I had heard many messages on faith and some preaching on love; but what I needed in that particular situation was hope, and the Holy Spirit had to take me directly to the Scripture because I had never heard a sermon about hope. It was there that the Holy Spirit met my need. For this reason, I am particularly concerned that people understand the importance of hope. I want you to grasp what hope is, how important it is, and how you may have it.
Hope is necessary if we are to maintain both faith and love. Unless we have hope, our faith will “leak out” and our love will fail. Hope is not optional; it is essential to the fullness of the Christian life.
People often say, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” I think there is a good deal of truth in that statement. But the opposite is also true: Where there’s hope, there’s life—and where there is no hope, there is no life. In my opinion, hopelessness is one of the saddest conditions in human experience. I can hardly think of anything sadder than being hopeless. Yet, countless people in our world today are completely hopeless. When I am sitting in an airport, taking a walk, or dining in a restaurant, and I look at the faces of other people, I find that many of them have a blank stare of hopelessness. But, thank God, we do not need to be hopeless.