Hope seems to come easier some days than others; I don’t know if it’s a function of hormones, lack of faith or both. To be completely honest, today, I’m struggling to have hope. Considering the state of our country, the government, the economy, the world, joblessness, sickness and disease… With all these and other uncertainties one can easily find themselves feeling completely hopeless!
What is hope? How can any normal person have hope? Where can we go today to find even a glimmer of hope? As I write this, I pray God will give you and me the hope we need to walk out His purpose in our lives today.
Hope… it’s a simple word, that appears to have a simple meaning. Like many things in life they look simple from a distance but are difficult to put into practice. You hear the word hope used a lot in conversations so much that it has lost some of its true meaning. Google the word hope and you get 541,000,000 results ranging from the Wikipedia definition to charity organizations, college names, celebrities, hotels, etc, ad infinitum…
According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary hope is: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. I’ve heard others define it simply as — the happy anticipation of something good. I really like that definition because it puts some responsibility back on us ‘to be happy’ while in the process of anticipating something good.
Bible hope is closely related to faith. In fact, according to Scripture we cannot have faith unless we first have hope. Hope is the foundation that faith stands on. One of the most quoted verses on faith and hope is Hebrews 11:1. Let’s look at it in my three favorite translations…
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – New International Version
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – New Living Translation
Now Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. – Amplified
To break it down, faith is the certainty, the proof of ownership-the title deed, of that thing for which we have hoped; even things we cannot see or feel. Just by having faith for something, we already own it! Alright, that tells us what faith is, but what about hope? Remember, we can’t have faith unless we have hope as a foundation. How can we hope for that thing we cannot see if we don’t have any hope. Where does hope come from? Where can I get some hope today?!
Let’s look again to the book of Hebrews for more answers. The author writes in Chapter 6 of God’s promise to Abraham. God was going to bless Abraham with a huge family, with so many descendants he wouldn’t be able to count them. When making that promise God swore an oath in His own name, since there was no name greater to swear by. Abraham believed God and waited patiently for many years until he finally received the promise of a son. In fact, he was 100 years old when Isaac was born. This chapter goes on to tell us that because it is impossible for God to lie, and because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross we too have access to the promises of Abraham. That is where our confidence and our hope is… in the great refuge of God’s promises. This is the hope, the strong anchor for our soul. The key now is to find the promises in God’s Word on which we can stand. God has given me clarification on this in Romans 5:1-5:
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. -NLT
In other words, if we believe Christ died for us we can stand confidently and look forward to God’s glory. Even though we go through times of trial and adversity, those times can grow us through endurance and patience which will build our character. With strong character we can stand in confidence of the hope that fills our heart with the love of the Holy Spirit.
I see it like this…
I have been made right in God’s eyes because I believe Jesus died for me on the cross. My faith gives me full access into God’s grace and His favor. Now I can come to God with something to hope for: a healthy marriage, family restoration, job stability, bills that are paid, etc…
- Hope forms the image in my mind. I see my family restored. I have the vision according to God’s Word; it is something I know lines up with God’s promises. Once I have Hope as a foundation…
- Faith rises up in my heart; strong, armed with the confidence that I can stand on God’s promises. Giving substance to the image; faith is the energy force that brings the Hope of my family being restored to reality in the physical realm.
- Glory goes to God when we see the manifestation of God’s goodness in our living reality. When we thank Him for His goodness and share what He has done with others around us.
Because we have access by faith into God’s grace, we can now stand & rejoice in the Hope of God’s Glory!
STAND AND REJOICE!
STAND AND REJOICE
In the Hope of God’s Glory!
I lived most of my life as a prisoner, in bondage to low self-worth and people pleasing; to evil thoughts and fleshly desires; to guilt and condemnation; to depression and desperation; to discouragement and despondency. In the very early days of my sobriety in 2005, God began to give me scripture after scripture full of hope to keep me pressing in to Him. Now I have a collection of 3×5 index cards in a little ring binder that I carry with me wherever I go.
For the last four years as my family and I press through our own life transitions, God continues to put the message of Hope in my path and on my heart. It is God’s Word that is my only source of true hope. I’m determined to surround myself with messages of Hope and to soak on God’s Word continually. The walls around me are Hope. I am now a prisoner of Hope!
If you too, want to be a prisoner of Hope, I encourage you to get a bible concordance or go online to www.biblegateway.com and look up the word — hope. Start reading, studying, meditating and memorizing…before you know it you will be full of Hope!