For the Greeks "hope" was a pejorative term. Since hope deals with those things that we could not fully control, only a fool has hope.

But Saint Paul calls us to "hope in the Lord". To hope in the Lord is to understand that even though we may not be able to fully control the outcome of events in our lives, we trust that the Lord will work for and with us in these events. So we "hope in the Lord" and in this hand the unknown over to Him.

Implicit in Paul's statement is the fact that "hope" is still a pejorative, but for the one we hope in, Jesus Christ. It is He who turns the pejorative nature of hope into a positive and also enables it to redirect our entire life. Thus, because of who Christ is, since our hope is in Him, our hope, in many respects, is far more real than this passing life.

One also needs hope for a dream and a vision for their life. However, we cannot control how this dream and vision will play out. Because in the end we cannot control what others may or may not do and this may prevent us from attaining to our dreams and visions. So to dream brings pain and to have vision, a deep wound. Thus in the end, the best hope, vision and dream, is to be all even at the end. To owe nothing to anyone except in Christ.

This is why Proverbs says,

"God let me have two things before I die:
Keep deception and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion."  
(Proverbs 30:7-8)

In this passage the writer of Proverbs asks that during his life he not be deceived so that what he does with his life will not end worthless. Then he asks to have neither poverty nor great riches but to have what is his portion.

The hope to die all even means to have spent the gift of one's life in full measure for that purpose for which it was created. We do not steal from this gift and spend our life gaining riches. Nor do we demean our life by failing to get from our life what was intended so that we end in poverty. Poverty does not sanctify a life. A life directed apart from deception will end, neither rich nor poor, but with the portion that it is due.

Basically, "to die all even, means we have finished the race, run it well and at "all even", we have won. Or so we hope.

© 2010 – 2012, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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