“(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10, NIV84)
I find this to be the most remarkable statement. In this verse, Paul makes the statement that “we have put our hope in the living God…” Our hope does not rest in an ideological principle or a theological premise. Our hope resides in the fact that we have a personal relationship with the living God. He is alive and real! He isn’t a product of fiction or fairytale. The proof of His existence (and the reason for our hope) lies in the consistent history of God fulfilling His promises and the consistent testimony of His people for centuries. This is why Paul, and we, labor and strive. Our hope is different than the hope others have. Our hope is in the living God who is the Savior of all men. We labor and strive so that those who do not have this hope, may have it, as we introduce them to their Redeemer God.
Let’s discuss for a moment some of the thoughts behind the fact that our hope is anchored in a living God. Behind the phrase is the understanding that God is actively and intimately involved in our lives. The incarnation is the physical manifestation of God in such a way that we could know Him, as we are known. Many other religions may speak of their God as “living”, but ask them for evidence of that fact, and they don’t have it. We have the incarnate Christ who walked the earth, spoke God’s Word, healed the sick, raised the dead, and Himself died and rose again to assure us that we, too, will live eternally.
We have so much to witness to. We have such an amazing and faithful God. May we labor and strive to make our hope in the living God known to the world around us that is living without hope.