Last week’s blog post was about faith. If you missed that one please read it first by going here. That post is the foundation for today’s topic which is HOPE. I think that the two go hand-in-hand and that you need a huge amount of faith to stand firm in your hope.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Some people get confused by the word hope. They think that hope and wish are the same thing when in fact they are very different. Hope is to desire something good or positive in the future. While wish means to desire something that is impossible or not likely to happen. Most of us probably “wish” that we won the lottery but we really don’t expect that to happen. Notice that the verse above uses the word hoped instead of wished. The author (maybe Paul) is saying that he has faith that it is going to happen.
The problem comes when life gets in the way. We may start out with lots of faith and hope but it can turn into just a wish if we are not careful. When arguments start in your marriage, you might find yourself having lots of faith that you can work things out. Hope is easy to hold on to when things are just a little rocky but if the arguments escalate, or you can’t see any progress being made, you may soon see your faith start to disappear and your desire to save your marriage become simply a wish.
Hope can be hard to hold on to when all evidence is pointing to a different outcome. One of my very favorite verses in the Bible mentions hope.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
When you read the verses in the Bible that use the word hope you will notice that hope is used with the meaning of certainty. It is not a wish but instead, it is “will be done.”
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.
This verse speaks volumes. Who do we place our hope in? Is your hope in your husband, that you can save the marriage? Is the hope in the doctors, that they can heal you? Is your hope in yourself, that you can overcome an obstacle in your path?
I will be the first to admit that I have been guilty of wishing something would happen. I wish that I was a better housekeeper because I know that it will probably never happen. I wish that I was more organized but again I know that it will probably never happen. But, I have hope when it comes to my life and my future. I am able to hope for success, I am able to hope for health, I am able to hope for forgiveness, I am able to hope for a home in Heaven.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
I feel like the tree beside the river. I feel my roots growing deep and I don’t worry about the lack of water or the heat.
This week as life starts coming at you hard and fast, pay attention if you are hoping or wishing. Then, remember who you should place your hope in.
“The Lord is all I have,”[ says my soul, “Therefore I will trust in him.”
Have a Blessed Day!