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Hope saves

God "wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)

God wants our salvation more than we do. Pope Benedict XVI sets up the problem well in his encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi.

Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here? (Pope Benedict XVVI, Spe Salvi, 1)

We have been given hope

One of the striking characteristics of Protestant Christianity is a focus on assured salvation. But does that really sound fair? Should you have a guarantee for your salvation? One of the favorite questions of Protestant evangelists is "do you know if you're saved?", with an emphasis on know. Our hope consists in having faith that God has already given us all the grace we need to get into Heaven and that the doors are open to us. But we still need to take the necessary steps. This is not the sign of a cruel God, but rather of a God who respects our freedom.

God wants it more than we do

"Do you know?" Of course, we do not know if we are saved. But we do know that God wants us to be saved and we can see by our actions if we are moving in the right direction or not. God sets up everything perfectly so that we can attain the glory of Heaven.

Hope helps us face the present

Life is hard a lot of the time. But this is a good thing. During our earthly existence, we are getting ready for Heaven. We want to respond to the love of Jesus. He died on the Cross to save us from our sins. It was the supreme act of love. Our life on earth is our time to grow and build up our spiritual muscles so that we can be ready for the love that we are called to live forever in Heaven.

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