I’ve been trying to write about hope off and on for months.  One of the reasons I’ve been having trouble with it is that I’ve been struggling (and am still struggling) with being hopeful myself.  Another is that I think I was trying to say too much and it was becoming unwieldy.  So I decided to publish a series of posts on hope.  Know what? I’m still struggling to find the words.  But I thought if you would indulge me I would drag you along on this journey of discovery with me.  And we both might learn something along the way . . .  here’s hoping!

 

Have you ever been disappointed by hope?  I have.  A lot.  I hope I get that Ipod for Christmas; those flowers for my birthday; that job I wanted.  I hope he/they/she likes me.  But Romans 5 says that hope does not disappoint us.  What gives?

There’s hope and there’s God’s hope:

When we say we hope, we usually mean it in an I wish kind of way.  I hope you have a good vacation.  I hope my test comes back negative.  That’s the way hope is used in our culture.  But the kind of hope spoken of here is hope that comes from a life of faith in Christ.  It is akin to the hope we have to do well on our final when we have studied hard and know the material well.  It is, in other words, a hope based in something true and not just wishful thinking.

God’s hope doesn’t depend on circumstances:

We hope that things go our way, that life favors us, that kindness smiles upon us.  But God’s hope is based on the fact that He has poured his love into our hearts by His Spirit.  The cool thing about that is that nothing can alter or diminish it.  Nothing that we do, nothing that’s done to us, no circumstances can change the fact that God loves us and this is the foundation for our hope.

In order to have His hope, we must trust God:

I know this is the truth.  I’ve had a lot of things in my life not go the way I wanted them to.  There are thing in my life I wouldn’t choose.  There are thing not in my life that I want badly.  But I’ve noticed that the hopelessness comes when I don’t trust God.  It comes at those times when I forget that He loves me, when I forget that He allows trials and hardship into my life to make me more like Jesus, when I forget that being more like Jesus is more important than having things go my way.

In fact, I’ve taken to writing the word hope on my hand in the morning to remind myself throughout the day that hopelessness has no place in the life of a daughter of the King.

Here’s that full text from Romans 5 (I’ll be talking more about other parts of it later in the series):
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Go here for further thoughts on Hope:
Hope 101: Believe it or not

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