Here we are at the end of January, several weeks into the new year. Maybe you’re planning for this to be the year that you lose that weight, religiously follow an exercise routine, or actually read all the books on that list you created.
I dare say that hope inspired those goals – hope that you would actually do those things that will move you forward in a certain area of your life.
There’s something about hope that keeps us going on, even when we feel like the odds are against us. Often in life, we’re even willing to go through some pain or hard times, if we think things will be better on the other side.
Dictionary.com defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” Speaking from a human standpoint, some days it’s easier to feel hopeful than it is on other days. When circumstances seem overwhelming and discouragement creeps in, or fear or worry about the future rears its ugly head, we can lose our hope.
Yet when we find, as David did, our hope in God, we realize that hope is not just a feeling. It’s a confidence in our God that He is trustworthy, His Word is sure, and what He has promised will come to pass.
And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope [is] in thee. ~ Psalm 39:7
What more can I ask for than to have my hope in God? If my trust is in Him, I know I won’t be disappointed. While a situation may look bleak today, He is in control. The One in whom I place my hope is God. Hope is more than an expectation; it’s believing that God has planned what is best for me.
And what more encouraging passage than this one when we need hope!
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
Verse 26 teaches me that hoping and waiting go hand in hand.
Think about the first time we meet hope, which is in the Garden of Eden. God, in His mercy and in spite of their disobedience, offered Adam and Eve hope when He said that He would send a Savior who would take the full penalty for their sin. (Genesis 3:14, 15)
Yet that hope wasn’t realized in the immediate moment. In fact, Adam and Eve didn’t see it fully fulfilled in their lifetime, yet they had faith that God would keep His Word. So when we base our hope on what God has said, we can completely rest in the knowledge that He will bring it to pass in His time.
Just as hope began with the promise of a Savior, so my hope for eternity, for a home in heaven, must be based in my accepting that Savior as my redeemer, my way to heaven. That is my greatest hope, and one that we can all share!
So if today finds you a bit discouraged, and you feel like hope is lost, look for it in God. Search His Word for promises you can claim. Meditate on the above passage from Lamentations. And, as Christians, let’s thank God for our greatest hope – eternity with Him.