Hope is defined as desire accompanied by an expectation of, or belief in, fulfillment (Merriam-Webster). When hope is lost, this is the evidence that the thing desired is now thought of as being beyond reach or unobtainable. When hope is lost, as not to torment the soul, one sends their emotions away from the thing desired in resignation. When emotions are diverted away from the desire, the desire loses its fire. When the fire of desire goes out, the countenance of the soul which was once brilliant and attractive fades to neutral. The heart then waxes cold and hard. Such a heart carries out the duties of life and love without extravagance, joyfulness, or imagination.
This describes the lifeless sacrifice of religion detached from intimacy with GOD. Like a marriage without true intimacy which is endured for the sake of the covenant, though the hope of true happiness has been lost. Dutifulness may get the job done, but without the intimacy which secures hope, the riches GOD bestowed in the journey are spoiled. What is left is only toil. Toil is the curse of all people separated from GOD, not because the true riches of life have been taken away or decreased, but because man has lost the belief needed to take hold of them. Intimacy is the path to knowing and knowing is the refuge from doubt and unbelief. The fear of the Lord is to understand that we should desire to know GOD first and foremost because in knowing Him we have the assurances that hope needs to keep our souls anchored in joyful expectation until we lay hold on all the promises of GOD.
17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:17-20 NKJV)
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