“For the believer, there is hope beyond the grave because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by His death and resurrection.” – Billy Graham
We all hope. We all wish. But sometimes hope doesn’t seem all that irrational, nor does it make sense, nor does it see beyond the obvious. This kind of hope is pinning my future on something over which I have no control.
In the Bible, however, we never read of hope in that way. It’s not wishy-washy. Instead, hope is a confident belief and expectation in the truths and promises of God. Hope always has a positive connotation in scripture. The bottom line is if our hope is based on God and what He says, then it is no longer wishful thinking, but a firm expectation.
Faith and hope are closely linked, but different. Hope is a precursor to faith. While faith is believing and trusting in something that you cannot see, hope is imagining that there is something to believe and trust in. It is the belief in what could be. For example, faith is putting your trust in God to help in financial difficulty, but hope opens the door to even let yourself consider that there may be a way you are not thinking about to get out of your problem. Hope lifts our eyes. Hope tells me there is more. Hope forces me to keep walking, searching, longing, and loving…hope leads to faith.
That’s why hope is so important and should not be kept to ourselves. Putting hope or faith into action can take many different shapes. Giving hope to others won’t be quick or easy, but it is possible. We see examples of changing people’s lives all the time. You have to choose to get involved. Hope does not mean we just sit and wait for utopia to appear. Hope motivates action. When we hope for better days for the church, we serve the church. When we hope for the conversion of our children, we are motivated to share the gospel with them. When we hope for God’s blessing on His Word, we listen to it much more avidly. Hope leads to action.
What’s occurring in our lives can affect how we respond to the situations we face. Outside pressures or uncertain circumstances can bring out the best or worst in us. And sometimes, letting out the ugly can seem a bit easier than displaying the good stuff. But regardless of how we feel, we can choose kindness and patience and use them to help others and make our world a better place.
In this world, hope still remains strong on the list of human needs. It is like a single candle during the night, it gives light for us to continue on and find our way out of the darkness. Hope is a very necessary component of everyday life. We must never give up and never think that our goal is impossible or too hard to attain.
Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”
- God is our strength. He’s always faithful. He’s our hope. He’s near. He’s good. And He’s full of unfailing love. Which of those attributes do you need to lean on the most right now?
- What can you do this week to start working on that attribute?