“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
The least spoken of these three “theological virtues” is, almost always, hope. Yet, hope is a powerful and necessary force. It animates both faith and love. Without hope, faith and love have no strength.
Without hope, even what you know to be right is difficult to do. Without hope, there is little reason to move forward. It is hope that powers a better future; hope that inspires both the courage and sacrifice of love and the loyalty and confidence of faith.
In the past few years, I have seen growing positive interest and action across the churches regarding Indigenous issues. There are a lot of reasons for this, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission being a big part. But an even bigger part of it has to be hope. People are beginning to believe that things should change and can change—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Hope is not only a theological virtue; it is a political and human virtue.
We should seek hope, pray for it and yearn for it. But we must remember that Paul says it is a gift and grace of the Holy Spirit. It is, like the other theological virtues, a gift of grace and a fruit of the spirit. Let us pray for such grace, so that we may be God’s people of hope.