1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…
I. THE RELATION OF HOPE TO PATIENCE.
1. It begets patience. Where there is no hope there is no patience, but either apathy or recklessness. The man who feels there is no hope of retrieving his ruined fortunes simply folds his hands or drowns his despair in self-indulgence.
2. It fosters patience. While there is a hope of anything, we feel that it is worth while waiting for it. But just in proportion as hope fades does patience relax its hold.
3. It justifies patience. If there is nothing to wait for, why wait? A friend's promise, e.g., is sure to be redeemed. The hope of that warrants the patience of years. Apply these principles —
(1) To God's salvation. To despair of this as some have done is to grow careless and indifferent — but what weary days and months have been spent in the hope of the smile of God's countenance. This hope encourages us to wait for salvation in God's time and way, and the object is so great as to justify any amount of patience.
(2) To Christian work. The prospect of winning souls calls forth the patient use of means. When we despond, the means are abandoned or only feebly employed. But hope lures the labourer to plod on. The seed is sown in tears; but it is sown; and the harvest will repay patient continuance in well-doing.
(3) To family duties. The mother's lot is brightened by hope. Alas! what would it be without it? That troublesome boy may grow up to be a great man. In the hope of this plod on, mother!
II. THE RELATION OF PATIENCE TO HOPE.
1. It keeps hope alive. The impatient are most subject to fits of despondency. The patient are often disappointed, but what do they do? Turn their energies into another channel. Bruce and the spider, "Try, try, try again." The man who quietly plods on in spite of discouragement augments his hope.
2. It brings hope nearer its fruition. Every step brings the traveller nearer home. Apply these principles —
(1) To the Christian conflict. The more strenuous your efforts to subdue the flesh and to resist temptation, the easier becomes the warfare and the brighter the hope of victory.
(2) To the prospects of the Church. Our Lord delayeth His coming! What shall we do? Abandon Missions? No. "Hold the fort, for He is coming," and every day's service brings Him nearer.
(J. W. Burn.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;