Posts Tagged ‘love’
“For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 8:11
This Bible verse about wisdom astonishes me. It’s essentially saying that the greatest thing a person can desire is wisdom. That’s very surprising to me at first glance. I would have expected that the utmost thing a person could desire would be something like loving relationships with God and with others. But then it struck me that wisdom is really a path to every other good thing in life. A truly wise person naturally has healthy and loving relationships with other people. They realize that simple worldly pleasures, selfish ambitions, and all the other things that corrupt us and stand in the way of becoming the people we were meant to be. Truly wise people desire all other good things, things like peace, contentment, and love. That is, to me, why wisdom is the utmost thing that a person can desire, because wisdom is a gateway to all other good things a person can desire. Without wisdom we are fools, getting trapped by foolish desires that won’t ever bring us to the happiness, satisfaction, and meaning we thought we’d one day find. Without wisdom, can we ever really desire things like peace and love and contentment? Without wisdom, how can we ever overcome the selfish desires that so often come to trap us? Nothing you desire can compare with wisdom.
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
This has always been a favorite Bible verse about death of mine. I love the fact that it’s two parts and both parts are important. The first part is about understanding God and heaven. Do not be ignorant of about those who fall asleep, meaning understand God’s plan for mankind and what this thing called life is really all about. And then the second part of the verse comes in. If you understand who God is, how Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross can pay for sins, then death is only a delay. God has something amazing planned for all those who call on His name.
Of course, there is always a time to grieve. Being apart from loved ones, especially loved ones taken before their time, is never easy. But grief can also be mingled with hope. That’s probably the most important part of the verse, how Paul describes the rest of men as having no hope. Grief that doesn’t at least have some measure of hope mingled in with it is paralyzing. Grief with hope is truly the toughest emotion for anyone to have to endure. So I hope you take comfort in this Bible verse, knowing that there can be hope mingled in with grief, and that God has something amazing planned for those who call on His name.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18
I often reflect on this Bible verse about hope wondering, are the eyes of my heart enlightened, or are they darkened? Do I really know the hope to which I have been called, not in an intellectual way, but deep down in my heart? I love how Paul phrased his prayer. He prayed that those in the church of Ephesus might have their hearts enlightened to understand the hope that each of them had received. He wasn’t praying for their minds to understand, but their hearts. That’s a big distinction. So often, we read the Bible’s account on Heaven and all its manifold and wonderful attributes, but the knowledge only sinks into the mind, and never really enters the heart. But is hope something that lives in the mind? It seems to me that hope is a matter of the heart and not of the mind. In a very real way, I don’t think that my heart has yet been enlightened to the full extent of the hope to which I have been called, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. For if it had, wouldn’t I have more of an attitude like Paul who said:
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” Philippians 3:8
It seems to me that the more our hearts become enlightened to the hope to which we have been called, the more the temporary things of Earth seem to fade into silence. I’ve been praying a lot recently for God to enlighten my heart, to show me not only a vision of what kind of man I ought to be, and what things He’s created me to do here, but also to show me the full extent of the hope to which I have been called. One final verse:
“‘No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him,’
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
I love the first expression: “we do not lose heart.” Though this Bible verse about hope doesn’t expressly use the word hope, I love the way it states it: “we do not lose heart.” Sometimes hope isn’t about waiting and expecting something grand to appear. Sometimes hope is just about keeping yourself from losing heart. I’ve often been in this place, when life goes down a path that I hadn’t intended and all my efforts seem to come to nothing. It’s during those times that I think hope is especially important, but not a hope that everything’s going to get better and life’s going to be all shiny and new, but rather, just to not lose heart, knowing that even if everything goes wrong here on this Earth, that our destiny is greater than just the 70 or so years we get to live and work and breathe.
That may not sound all that hopeful, but it really is. This is an amazing Bible verse about hope because it shows us where our foundation of hope needs to rest. If our hope isn’t founded upon salvation and the eternal life waiting at the end of the road, then nothing will be able to give us hope during those times of despair and discouragement, when life seems out of control. We’ll be held hostage to our circumstances and true hope will be an elusive concept.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
I’ve always found this Bible verse about hope to be really fascinating. You always hear about faith and love. Those are the two pinnacles of the Christian faith upon which everything else is built. But how often do you hear about hope? Very rarely. But that’s why I find this verse about hope to be really inspirational. But in this verse, I find a danger. I don’t think that most people really have that great of an understanding of what real hope is. So much of the time we waste our hopes on things that prove hollow in the end. We waste our hopes on material possessions and ambitions thinking that what we can have and accomplish will lead us to the happiness, meaning, and satisfaction that we thought it would. But in the light of eternity, most of the things we put our hope in really aren’t worthy of our hope.
But that’s why real hope is something powerful, even as powerful as faith and love. Once I learned to start placing my hope in things that make an eternal impact — things like building up relationships and becoming a better man — then I started really feeling filled with hope. I didn’t just hope for a nice car, and big house and a good career. Those things aren’t really ever going to bring true satisfaction or meaning. Only things of eternal significance are worth hoping in.