Finally, AGAPE relationships are founded in “Hope.”

There is an innate optimism at the heart of the Christian faith, rooted not in our high view of man or in a naïve confidence in human progress but in a deep trust that God has his purposes and is working “for the good of those who love him” (Ro 8:28). God is faithful. He keeps his promises. He loves the world and is moving mountains to save it.

AGAPE always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1Co 13:7)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Ro 15:13)

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb 11:1)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

How odd, then, that so many Christians succumb to cynicism, despair, doubt, suspicion, and outright skepticism. We lose confidence that God cares and intercedes. We lose faith in spouses and friends and the church. We grow increasingly cynical about the world and hopeless that anyone left in the world might still come to the light. We give up caring for God’s created order (“What’s the use?”) and give in to the lure of material possessions (“Since the ship is sinking, might as well enjoy the ride”).

The North Central Church wants for foster hopeful love. We encourage believing for the best in every relationship. Healthy relationships grow out of AGAPE love. And a commitment to hope is a necessary ingredient for that kind of love.

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© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.