In his first letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul said, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.” (1 Thess 1:2-3) Notice St. Paul mentions the three theological virtues, faith, hope and charity. Notice also the phrase, ‘endurance in hope.’
Hope is very important because without it, our faith would be futile. The lack of hope leads to despair. A simple definition of hope is, ‘looking forward to something we know exists by faith.’ We know by faith that heaven exists. Hope helps us look forward to heaven. This leads to endurance.
Because of hope we are able to endure the crosses and sufferings in life because we know the best is yet to come. Never, ever forget that our crosses are for a time, and our heavenly reward will be eternal. If you are tempted to despair, ask God the Holy Spirit to increase the virtue of hope in your soul. This will help you endure anything, even martyrdom. Glory and thanks be to God!
Fr. Christopher Kubat