So the apostle says that these three virtues of spiritual life will carry on into the age to come and that they should therefore be a focus in the here and now. All we do to cultivate these spiritual arts will be a fabulous investment and a profound and practical way of changing the world around us for the good. Faith and love do get a lot of press in the church world, but I think that hope is often neglected and marginalized. Maybe this is because our culture refers to it regularly and it often seems to be a humanly generated replacement for faith in God. Maybe it is because defining hope can be elusive. We have all experienced it, but it can be trans-rational and hard to pin down into words.
Biblical hope is strong and mighty and can even be considered a precursor to faith and/or love as in Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen." It is clear that hope always has the future in view...immediate or long-term...but it is a present state of being. Hope is now! It is an atmosphere of Divine optimism conveyed to us directly by the Holy Spirit that surrounds, soaks and buoys our thoughts, choices, emotions, world-view, expectations, basic attitudes, responses to problems, enjoyment of God and the life He has given us to live. It is like a gentle wind that blows the sweet fragrance of Christ within us into the environment around us and nearby the people with whom we interact who may desperately need a whiff of something...anything...good. Hope keeps us from sinking into the ugliness of despair, negativity, unbelief, pessimism, fear, vengeance and the like. Hope floats! And...as long as we cherish and hold it within our breasts, we too will float. God is the glorious lifter of our heads and beckons us to breathe and shine.