God is love. Love is God. Where there is love there too is God.
This is a truth I embrace and know to be true in my heart of hearts. But I’d love all that God is?
The first thing I must understand is that my limited understanding of love is just that. Limited. God is limitless. So too is what God is. My comprehension of that which created all that I’ve ever known and all that any sentient being that ever realized something beyond itself knew, is depressingly limited. I cannot perceive much at all that God truly is. So how can I say that God is in essence love and love alone?
Aparantly Paul saw this too in his letters.
In this passage I see Paul writing that God is not just love, but is the source of hope. Love is kind and patient and long suffering. That I know. But love is hope? What could love hope for? Certainly not itself because the Word says love is not self seeking. The passage continues:
Love is hope and is on a mission to fill us with joy and peace. But it doesn’t happen automatically. It happens by believing. Belief is a powerful thing. For example, I believe that if I go outside now, I will be cold because it is winter. I believe that if I go to a website and click “buy now”, in a few days, something will be delivered to my home. I believe that if I touch my beloved one, I will feel human warmth and tenderness returned to me. Why? Because love is a natural response to love expressed. I love God because he first loved me. Not because I deserved it. But because I am His and a good father cannot help but love his own.
But what can all of this possibly do for us, the children of God? To what end will this joy and peace bring me? I see this verse saying to the reader that they are feeling hopeless. Perhaps forgotten and unloved. Their days are troubled and their nights are without joy. But joy comes in the morning and Paul is saying that if we just believe in God and his love, we will not just feel better. See a dawn after the dark. Be given peace. Much more than that we will be able to hope and hope abundantly. In a time where daily I hear disheartening news on my radio and in my daily walk, I could use a bit more joy. A bit more love.
A bit more hope. That is God. Hope in a hopeless situation.