(Heb 6:18-19) . . . we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast . . .
Hope has been defined as the expectation of future good. It means to cherish a desire with anticipation. It is looking forward to something that you are sure will come to pass. It is confidence that tomorrow will be better than today. Now that might sound rosy to some and sort of idealistic to others because life hasn't been that fair to them. They don't like happy faces because that smile has gone south so the best they can do is strive to maintain a straight face. Don't expect much from life because life is hard and will take a lot out of you. Take a lickin' and keep tickin' but I ain't gonna smile. Protect yourself from hurt by keeping your guard up and never trust anyone. Is this your attitude lately? Would you like to change that? I HOPE SO!
Some people have no hope. It's all nope. They can't cope. They mope. They take dope. Some choose a rope. What a slippery slope! Better to grope for hope. Hope is soap. It'll wash away the gloom. Are you ready for high noon? . . . that brighter tomorrow?? I HOPE SO!
Do you know what I deal with most as a pastor in counseling believers? It is Christians who have lost hope. Believers who have stopped believing. There is nothing to look forward to but misery and despair. Something happened, and they lost hope. There is nothing to long for and this plunges them into despondency. They emotionally short circuit and then begin to isolate themselves. In their desire to be comforted they turn to the things of the world. So, you can say they isolate and medicate. But to them it's better than hurting.
God gave Abraham a promise that he would have a son. But this was impossible! He and Sarah were passed the childbearing age. It would have to be a miracle. His faith wasn't perfect, and he faltered along the way. But he did have hope! (Rom 4:18-21) who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Hope is looking into an empty future and believing God will furnish the house of tomorrow. It is placing faith in the character of God and the promises He has made. God is good, and His promises are true. God has said He will give me a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). Life might stink now, and I see nothing ahead. But my hope is not in what I see but in the Lord who loves me and has a plan for me. I don't know what lies ahead or how things will get better but that's not my problem. God has a way of turning things around. So, my hope is not baseless. I'm not just an idealist masking a phony smile and wishing for a better day . . . someday. Hope increases and maintains my faith. It keeps me believing and achieving all that God has for me.
Have you been a pesky pessimist lately? I ask you, does it feel good and does it do any good? Do you like the gray and negative world you live in? I'm not asking you to be an idealist or even an optimist. I'm encouraging you to stop and refuse to just exist. Will you try it just for one day? How about one week? I HOPE SO!
(Rom 15:13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.