We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you, because we have heard of
your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for
all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope
stored up for you in heaven and about which you have
already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.
I think clowns are creepy. You can imagine what I think of jacks-in-the-box. Creepy raised to the power 100. But, what does this have to do with hope and faith. Well, let's find out, shall we?
You see, Colossians 1: 4-5 (quoted above) makes it clear that faith [and love] spring out of hope. This means that without hope, you cannot even talk about having faith or growing in love. Why is this connection between faith and hope so important? Because "without faith, it is impossible to please God." [Hebrews 11:6] But, the entire process must start with hope.
If a man does not have hope, then he has no reason to live. Hopelessness is what leads to suicide. It can rise from discouragement or despair or any number of reasons. But you don't have to live that way. Psalm 25: 3 makes it clear that "no one who hopes in [God] will ever be put to shame." So, put your hope in God, the One who made you, loves you and wants what is best for you.
The next time you see a jack-in-the-box keep these two things in mind: First, assume that the box represents Hope. Second, assume that the "Jack" which springs out of the box represents Faith. Faith (the Jack) springs out of Hope (the box). But you have to start first with Hope. Don't lose hope, and don't give up.
One more thing.
You never know when the Jack will spring out of the box. It usually comes as a surprise. May God surprise you this week!