What Kind of Hope Do We Have?
As we move into this new year I wanted to offer a little hope. We all need a little hope don’t we? I know I do! As the new year opens up all of us are HAPPY to see 2020 go! I’m not sure what it looked like for you, but for me and my family it turned into a crazy adventure.
We moved in January 2020 to Central America to begin working as missionaries. Two and half months in and the country shut down. Whew. Not what we planned. As we move into 2021 I want to focus a little on the idea of hope. Hope means: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. The Bible, on the other hand, has a different definition. You’ve heard of faith, but faith is hoping with confidence. Not a reasonable confidence, but a full-blown 100% confidence.
We have a… Shame-Free Hope
Because of God’s love, we have a hope that will never put us to shame. The Holy Spirit has been given to secure this hope in our hearts. When we hope in God it will not be embarrassing. God will never let us down. Romans 5 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Lots of people like Romans 5, but Romans 5 has some amazing truths for us as well. Romans 5:3-4 says, And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” It goes on to say in Romans 5:5: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” What does this mean? It means hope doesn’t put us to shame.
We Have a… Praise-Filled Hope
When we are downcast, hoping in God can cause us to praise God, even in the midst of suffering. At the moment it might be tough (or even impossible) to praise God. If we hold on to the hope of God we will one day sing again. Psalm 42:5 says “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” We have hope because we can praise, even in hard things.
We Have a… Living Hope
Our hope is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of His death and resurrection we have a hope that is alive. Our hope is not in something invisible or a hope that wishes something will come true. I Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Our hope is already true: Jesus is alive today!
If you are struggling with me to see the hope in the coming year, may we look to God instead of our circumstances. May we look too God instead of the news. May we look to God instead of our disappointments. Spurgeon said: Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. — C.H. Spurgeon