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What is Hope?

Hope is often defined as “the feeling that something desired will come about, to trust in, or look for with the expectation of something positive;” however, herein lies the problem. We often place our hope in our own expectations, what we see in people, or in our circumstances. Being expectant is not a bad thing, but how then do we deal with delayed or unfulfilled expectations? And what are those expectations based on? Yes, God has given us promises, but many times our tendency is to see a certain outcome or to see that outcome come to pass within a certain time frame. These expectations can derail us when things do not go as we thought they should.

 We are hungry to know what our purpose is, to know that there is a reason for us being here and that our life will be meaningful. This desire elicits prayer and a need to hope for something better. We want to see good things in our lives and the lives of our loved ones—so we pray with a hopeful expectancy. Though many times the focus of our hope is focused on what we can see or want to see come to pass. Our attention is on our current reality and what we think is happening. Our mindset is focused on our current situation. Maybe you are reading this at a time when you have suffered a loss. Perhaps you have experienced the loss of a relationship, job, home, or a loved one. Or, perhaps you have had unfulfilled promises; you have been waiting and praying a long time to see a promise fulfilled or to be healed. I believe our natural tendency is to want to see God move on our behalf as we have put our trust in Him; however, our preconceived ideas of how He should move can set us up for disappointment.  

Hope in the Greek language is the word elpis, which means a favorable and confident expectation, a happy anticipation, or the ground upon which hope is based.[1] Therefore, hope from the Father is based on who Jesus is. Jesus is hope and moreover, He is in us and we are in Him. Thus, hope is in us through the resurrection power of Jesus. It is a living and eternal hope. We are to live in a happy expectation of God’s goodness because Jesus lives in us. Francis Frangipane explains, “Any area of our life that is not glistening with hope is under the influence of a lie.” The word glistening means to shine or to burst forth with reflected light.[2] Jesus is the light that is bursting with hope and we have access to that hope as He is in us and we in Him.

Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Hope that comes from Heaven is full of power and grace.  Romans 15:13 says, “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.” The hope that comes from Him is a living hope, not just a positive mindset. It is the true hope, not a lesser version. Hope is a part of Him and He is alive. 1 Peter 1:3 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Hope enables us to rest in the Lord and restores our physical needs. Psalms 16:19 proclaims, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.”

We can hope and trust in the Lord because of who Jesus is. He is our shepherd who cares for our every need. He brings us to green pastures and still waters, which I believe represents His rest and peace. He heals, restores, our souls. The places of disappointment are renewed when we are in His presence. Even though our situation may look bleak, we do not need to fear because He is with us; Jesus is Hope.



Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Published inHope