The Virtue of Hope

Teaching of Virtue

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The Virtue of Hope

The unshakeable confidence in the Good News of Christ is hope.

The virtue of hope enables one to trust in God and the promise of Christ for eternal life—divinely inspiring one to desire God’s will on earth and union with God’s love in Heaven as one's utmost happiness and ultimate end.

Hope follows faith as the second of the seven chiefly virtues, for one cannot hope in God if one does not believe in Him. Faith and hope work together to draw the believer closer to Christ. By faith, one assents to Christ; by hope, one aspires to Him. Hope, then, moves the faithful not just to believe in Christ, but to ardently pursue Him.

As a theological virtue, hope is a grace infused by God into the will of the believer, whereby one’s soul is tethered to the “living hope” of Christ within (see 1 Peter 1:3)—bestowing an eternal perspective that brings with it a Christ-centered purpose and joy defined not by one’s worldly circumstances but by their divine destiny.

The gift of hope is found only in the souls of the faithful on earth, still traveling the road to Heaven's gates; for in Heaven, hope is forever fulfilled, and in Hell, forever lost. Thus, God gives the Christian pilgrim hope so they enduringly trust in Him, turn to Him, and reach for Him—aspiring to be a reflection of His love until they rest in His love—all while leaning on the grace of the Holy Spirit to both express it and obtain it, and to persevere through countless adversities in its pursuit.

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Scroll down for the related scriptures, quotes, and lesson plan associated with this teaching.

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Related Scripture

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” — 1 Peter 1:3 (NRSVCE)

“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered…” — Hebrews 6:19-20 (NRSVCE)

“This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." — Titus 3:6-7 (NRSVCE)

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.” — Hebrews 10:23 (NRSVCE)

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” — John 15:9-11 (NRSVCE)

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1 (NRSVCE)

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." — Isaiah 61:10 (NRSVCE)

“I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” ‭‭— Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭18‬-‭25‬ ‭(GNT)

“You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy." — Sirach 2:9 (NRSVCE)

“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” — Psalm 27:13 (NRSVCE)

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” — Romans 15:4 (NRSVCE)

“For we know that, if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” — 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NRSVCE)

Related Quotes

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence.” — St. Augustine

“When you have faith in God, you don’t have to worry about the future. You just know it's all in His hands. You just go and do your best.” — Elder Bryan Mathison

“We retire into God because we may aspire to him. We aspire to God so we may retire into him…Plant him in your soul like a flag.” — St. Francis de Sales

“Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

“God gives to every soul he creates sufficient grace to get to Heaven.” — Leo J. Trese

“No one loses Heaven except by his own fault. So far as God’s part is concerned, our salvation is certain. It is only our part — our cooperation or non-cooperation with God’s grace — that is uncertain.” — Leo J. Trese

“No detail of your life is too insignificant for your heavenly Father’s attention; no circumstance is so big that He cannot control it.” — Jerry Bridges

“We cannot always trace God’s hand, but we can always trust God’s heart.” — C.H. Spurgeon

“We may not demand of a sovereign Creator that He explain Himself to His creatures… God had good and sufficient reasons for His actions; we trust His sovereign wisdom and love.” — Margaret Clarkson

“A gracious soul may look through the darkest cloud and see God smiling on him.” — Thomas Brooks

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of the virtue of hope. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • In what ways do you see faith and hope working together in your life?
  • Reflect on 1 Peter 1:3, which speaks of a "living hope" through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How does this "living hope" manifest in your daily life?
  • What are some adversities you have faced, and how did hope help you persevere through them?
  • How does the promise of eternal life and union with God's love in Heaven influence your actions and decisions on earth?
  • How do you express hope in your interactions with others? Are there specific actions or words that convey your trust in God?
  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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