Hope in counseling

All men need hope, that cheerful anticipation that all will end well. The cults provide hope on a false premise; it is always short-term. What the Lord gives is a long-term genuine hope that does not disappoint or make ashamed, being crowned at his second advent.

Hope is a cardinal virtue, which together with faith and love, embrace the Christian in full maturity. By hope we continue on steadfastly, never giving up or allowing to be laid aside. We do not grow weary in well-doing, for hope impels us forward.

Unbelievers should be constantly challenged, if and when they come to counselling (but also in our witness), that their hope will be shattered. They may be living a comfortable life, enjoying health and many other blessings, but these will be turned to a curse if they continue in impenitence and unbelief.

Christians themselves may find their hope wavering, as they look on the ungodly and see them fat in worldly goods. Asaph, in Psalm 73, meditated on their life-style and their end, and concluded that they are set in slippery places. They will be sought but will not be found.

So Christians need to built up in hope, and in this respect need to intercede one for another: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13).