I went to Christian school since Junior High until Senior High. The name of the school is “Faith, Hope, and Love”. In Indonesians, we call it “Iman, Pengharapan, dan Kasih” or known well with its acronym “IPeKa.” It was a good Christian school where I met some Godly friends who led me to Jesus and grew in my faith. But up until the graduation, I didn’t know what faith, hope, and love really mean. Let’s imagine that you are standing on stage of Miss Indonesia 2013 and the jury asks you, “According to you, what is the difference between faith, hope, and love?” Ding.. dong.. We may start to think.. “Hmm.. I never think of that question before..” These three are known well as three pillars of Christianity but we can be a Christian for so long not knowing what exactly they are. That’s what happened to me. I can search for the theological definitions easily. But unless those definitions touch my heart and change my life, it will be only merely beautiful ordered words. One day, I went into a Christian store and saw a simple wall decoration with this writing on it:
“Faith makes a closed door to be opened.
Hope makes an unseen opened door can be seen.
Love makes an opened door stays opened.”
That writing really went into my heart!! Finally, it made sense to me. I noted it and keep remembering it until now. The Bible says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Although Paul described love as the greatest, I believe these three complement one another. Faith in Jesus Christ is the beginning which leads us to trust Him in every areas of our lives. Faith helps us to believe the impossible is possible in God’s hands.
Faith gives birth to hope. A hope that has no basic of faith in Jesus is a wishful thinking. For a hope to be anchored so strongly it must be rooted in faith in Jesus again. Jesus came to the world to give us a hope of reconciliation to Father from sins. He is our hope. “And hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5) God’s love is the reason why we have such an endless hope. And God’s love is what makes us too to love others. God did not just merely come to introduce faith, hope, and love; but he wants us to share this good news to others. Because faith, hope, and love refers to one in common.. the very person of Jesus Christ. These three becomes one in Jesus Christ.
I hope that this doesn’t confuse you. I’ve just revealed what faith, hope, and love has been applied in my personal life. They are all talking about Jesus Christ.
Let us talk more about hope. How can we maintain such an endless hope in our life? Many people use hope for different kind of situations such as: hope of deliverance when the circumstances seem impossible, hope when we are in despair, hope when will our dreams come true, and many more. Well, hope is the anchor for our ships of life. It keeps our life safe and sound as the storm in life comes. Not alike many other people who is easily swept away when the storm comes, our anchor of hope keeps our lives steady and peaceful no matter what. Do you remember when Jesus fell asleep when the storm came on the lake of Galilee?
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown! He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
I have a picture of the lake of Galilee. You can see how perfectly peaceful the water. When I went there, it’s hard to imagine such a furious storm had ever come upon it.
This story shows us that when Jesus is in your boat (ship) of life, you can rest in full assurance that your life is under His control. You can remain in peace and not easily respond to the storm based on your fear, anxiety, and worry. God is more than able to make any kind of storm in your life calm.
Of course, in order to defeat our natural emotion is not as easy as flipping our hands. It takes a daily decision to surrender your remote control of life to God. It’s an honest acknowledgement that we don’t see the light of hope in this situation, but we believe that God will show it to us in His time. And we hold fast to our faith and that’s how we can keep seeing the opened door ahead. It’s okay to say, “It’s hard, Lord!” but don’t forget to keep proclaiming, “But You can make it possible.”
The very reason why I have such a peaceful life is because I have surrendered my life to Jesus. My dreams, my financial condition, my family, my love story, my activities, my everything. I know deep inside my heart that my God is a very good God and whatever He gives will be the best for me.
My partner once illustrated the unopened door as the elevator door which is closed for a momentary. We may see it now as a closed door, a dead-end, a hopeless state. But it’s actually just a matter of time, God will open the elevator door and deliver us to our destination.
When you are placed in difficult circumstance with difficult people, it is a season for you to grow in your faith, hope, love, and character. We are most likely pray for a change outside rather than a change inside of us. We pray for deliverance instead of growth. That’s not what God intend to do when He is training His children to be mature. He is so into maturity process rather than momentary happy life. Trust and surrender to God in molding you into a beautiful vessel in this season. We always came up with a better character when we respond right during hard times. Let’s admit it, we cannot grow with no problems in life. And any organism who doesn’t grow anymore is basically dead! When we stop growing, we start dying! Hey, God does not want you to die! He wants you to grow into the fullness of Jesus Christ, to become more like Him each day. Knowing this purpose will set you at the right perspective and help you in nurturing the hope in your heart.
I want to close this article with a quote that is very dear to my heart. “People with hope can dance without music.” I believe that is the happiest person ever alive! We don’t need the circumstance or people we are upset with to change first before we can enjoy our life. Hope always begins far before the reality match with it. That’s why it is being described as “seeing the unseen opened door“. Your level of hope will keep you strong and steady no matter hard life can be. And Jesus is always be our hope. When everything seems gone wild outside of your control, always RUN to Him. He is your Prince of Peace.
“Peace I live with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” -Philippians 1:6
Have a hopeful life! 😀
Photos by Baby Axioo Photography