We toss around words like faith and love all the time. And most of us can describe both with minimal difficulty.
But hope? What in the world is it? And is it really that essential?
Webster defines hope, “to desire with expectation of fulfillment.” To hope is to anticipate. It is more than dreaming, however.
It is possessing within ourselves an expectation that someday there will be the fulfillment of that desire. It will become a reality.
Hope always looks to the future, it’s always on tiptoes. It keeps us going.
It makes a dismal today bearable because it promises a brighter tomorrow. Without hope, something inside all of us dies. . . .
We can live several weeks without food, days without water, and only minutes without oxygen, but without hope—forget it.
During our summer housing dilemma the word “hope” was used a lot. I mean A LOT. It was in fact used to the point that my husband and I began to sarcastically joke about it when we said it.
Our summer was filled with “well we hope that…” (just fill in the blanks with any house closing term)
The reason why “hope” had become a joke was because we had no faith in the one’s whose word we were “hoping” in.
When we put our hope in anything or anyone beside our God… we will be disappointed. We lived a summer in disappointment. We lived in this state of disappointment because we simply put our hope in the wrong place. It’s so very easy to do.
You are at the doctor and the doctor says I don’t think it’s cancer… so you put your hope in his word… and then you are slammed with disappointment when you discover he was wrong.
You have a loved one call and say they hope to be their tomorrow… but they never show. You put your hope in them and they failed and now you are disappointed.
What I have learned this summer is that we have to put our hope only in the word of the One who has the power to keep it. There is only One who can do that.
The first time the word hope is used in Scripture is found in Ruth 1:11-13
But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, would you therefore wait until they were grown?
Ruth is quick to let her daughter-in-laws know that she could say she has hope in another husband coming along… but it would be an empty hope… putting her hope in a possible second husband and possible sons, when God had not promised her either would be foolish. She knew if she said as such she would cause her daughter-in-laws a lifetime of disappointment as they hoped in her word.
There is no where is Scripture where God has said “I promise you that I will give you a good husband till death do you part.” I have read the book, it’s not in there. But what He does promise is that He will always be a husband to us, if we put our hope in Him.
For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth.
If we put our hope in anything or anyone apart from God it is a false hope.
A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength
It doesn’t matter how strong the person. How secure the structure. How high the character and integrity of the man… if it’s not the promise of God, the word of God, if your hope is not in God… disappointment will be the result. Yes God will use all the above to do His work, to work out His plan, but He alone is the One to hope in.
Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
I did not too good about waiting in silence this summer. I am after all an American… waiting is not a strong area in my life. I hate red lights, because they make me stop even when nothing is coming. And I have to sit there and watch nothing coming the whole time it is red.
Of course now with the whole “no texting while driving” thing… I can now fill my red light wait with the text.
You see this is how I work.
Doing Nothing. Waiting. I have always been a person who has to be doing something. I need movement… forward motion… let’s please get somewhere with this… Results please!
So the words “I’m hoping so” were very easily and quickly mocked after only a few times of lack of results.
Yes I can soooooo see why Sarai did what she did when waiting on that promised son from God. I cannot condemn her, I have made plenty of messes, probably hurt plenty of feelings, rushed plenty of results, settled for less than God’s best… simply because I would not tolerate the wait any longer.
I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
When you put your hope in the proof of results instead of the promise of God… disappointment and wrong decisions and bad attitudes are sure to follow every time.
God knows that we need hope.
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD,
‘plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope.
God knows that we need hope. He gave Adam and Eve a promise to hope in at the very beginning. When the curse’s consequences would come and the evidence of their choices and their sin would fall upon them and those they loved… God knew they, we, would need a hope to hold on to or we would seek death to end our misery… but death in death is just an eternal place of misery. So God gave us a promise, a future and a hope, to hold on to.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
and perseverance, proven character;
and proven character, hope;
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
If we put our hope in hope… we will be disappointed. If we put our hope in man or the things of this world, we will be disappointed. We can buy a lottery ticket and put our hope in it… disappointment will be the result… even when/if you win the lottery… you will discover that hope in financial security still disappoints.
If you put your faith in faith apart from the Word of God, apart from Christ… that faith will disappoint.
If you put your hope in love apart from God… that love will disappoint and you come to believe that even love fails.
The only solid foundation.
The only hope that does not disappoint.
The only Word that alone can be rested upon is that of our God. And my friend any thing we choose to hope in or for outside of the Word will eventually disappoint us if we expect them to bring us joy or peace or happiness.
The promises He has made us and recorded for us in written form are the only one’s we are to hope in. I have learned that hoping in anything added to them usually leads to me getting into a place of fleshly ick that I just do not like to be in.
The worst part was… that we both became sick of “hoping”.
But the thing was, there is nothing in God’s Word that promised us this house, this closing. It looked to us that God had lined it all up… but that was it. We in fact were actually presuming on God’s will. It looked good to us, it was what we had peace with, so it had to be of God… right?
What I have learned this summer is that I am to hope only in the clear promises of my God given me in His Word. This is what of life He guarantees me. I am not to add to it nor take away from it. This life after all is not about what all I can get out of it before I check out. It is about lifting up my Lord and becoming conformed to His image so that I might be used by Him to draw others into the Kingdom of Light.
Yes, in the end we got the house. We do believe it was right. One reason being that we sleep here. Neither my husband nor I could sleep in our last house. Two hours max and we were awake tossing and turning, looking at the clock, dozing off and on, until finally we just got up. But here we actually rest…
Not sure what that means… if anything… I just know that it is.