Virtue: a valued foundation principle of good moral behavior; a holy habit
Vice: a practice of wrongdoing, essentially corruption of the virtue; an unholy habit.
Hope is most needed in our world where trials and troubles abound. Though not a virtue in the traditional sense of honesty and perseverance; Hope is an emotional and theological virtue. Its antithesis is Despair.
Hope: feeling that what is wanted can be had; that events will turn out for the best.
Despair: loss of hope; hopelessness.
How can Hope and Despair be habits? Don't they just happen to us in our emotions?
Habits, good or bad, often have root in our emotions. Hope and Despair are certainly emotionally driven. I've learned I can choose to follow certain emotions and not others. The key is recognizing the emotion when it shows up by reflecting on recent thoughts...
Where are these thoughts sending me? Is that where I want to go? Is that where I need to go?
I know if I think despairing thoughts long enough I'll get stuck in a negative habit, which will eventually affect my behavior.
As a theological virtue, Hope is the bridge between faith and love. Like faith, Hope is a gift of God. God doesn't want us to be in a state of Despair. He wants us to live with hopeful hearts, expecting the best from Him each and every day.
We must depend on God to keep our heart and mind in a hopeful place. And the only way to do that, is to stay in God's Word! One of my favorite devotional Bibles is Joel and Victoria Osteen's: Hope for Today Bible. It's exactly what it says, Hope for everyday! Get one and read it. You won't struggle with despair any longer.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Roman 15:13
You can find some Hope in this music video...
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