Three Christian Virtues: Hope


Hope is one of the main Christian virtues. It is an assurance in the fact, that God is always with us and cares about us, that He will grant us promised salvation. As Apostle Paul said, Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christian hope. Apostle Peter sais: “Be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter, 1:13). You can find salvation through hope with prayer and learning the true teachings and following them.

Hope in God

Christian hope is closely linked with Christian faith. Faith implies the assurance in something that is invisible, while hope is the assurance in something what you desire or anticipate. Christian hope comes down to the thought that the main goal of creation (the highest good for people) will be reached no matter what. Christian hope is not groundless. In fact, it is based firmly on the promises of the Savior Himself.

True Christian hope is a virtue, as it is accompanied by readiness to overcome any sufferings and to bear one’s cross without complaining, but with the knowledge that everything sent by God is for our own good. The Lord warned us, that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we need to go through sufferings which will turn into eternal joy in the end. This is why Christian hope is always accompanied by commitment to God’s will and assurance that hope in God will never bring us to shame. However, hope demands patience as well. Long-suffering Job in the Old Testament is a great example of patience for each Christian.

What brings us to sin against the virtue of Christian hope? These are such things like arrogance, cowardice, excessive confidence in personal salvation, impatience, and despair. False pride and self-conceit lead to arrogance. Some people hope for leaders and other people even more than for God. People have no hope in God and shift responsibility on other people, because they prefer to live by the laws of the earthly world, but not the laws of the Heavenly Kingdom. Lack of faith leads to cowardice. Excessive confidence in personal salvation is a thoughtless approach to undersatnding and coming closer to God. It may be expressed as reckless and careless attitude to danger because of hope for miraculous salvation by God. Anticipating a miracle, instead of being humble and believing in God, is another form of this sin, as well as inaction in time of need and unwillingness to visit a doctor in case of illness because of a false hope in a miracle. What is more, the most vile form of this sin is when people hope that God will help them to commit evil deeds.

The true Christian hope should avoid both doubt and impudence. Expectancy, which lies between fear and hope, should be an example for each Christian. Impatience, which means that a person boils over the cross sent by God, is a sin against Christian hope as well. Despair, the last form of frustration, is a deadly sin and the heaviest one in relation to hope. Despair is the result of long-lasting sinful life without God, and it occurs in full force especially at the end of a person’s life. Sometimes it may occur even after one serious life’s problem because of lack of faith. God can save from despair at sight, if only a person cry out for help like a drowner: “Lord, have mercy upon me and save me from despair”. Often despair, if not always, is accompanied by condition which is called n patristic literature as “hardened insensibility”. If there is no hope in despair, and no strength for prayer, then you have just to say “Lord, save me”, and God will reach out to you just because you remember to as Him for help.

Source: 
http://azbyka.ru/otechnik/bogoslovie/pravoslavno-hristianskoe-nravstvennoe-bogoslovie

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