All of us need hope, encouragement and refreshment for our souls. All of us need reminders from time-to-time that our hope in God is not in vain.
There are many temptations today for hopelessness – covid-19, politics, and people’s negative behavior choices; yet, we can agree with the psalmist and put our hope in God: Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.
Sometimes hope is simple and our soul bubbles with optimism. Other times, hope is difficult and we must dig deep into our soul’s reserves or the Word of God to renew our hope. We must remember Hope has a Name, Jesus.
Sometimes we must dig deep into our soul’s reserves to renew our hope
Elle Sommer speaks of having hope in the face of her husband’s diagnosis of cancer. “I see it as part of being human. Where we fine the motivation to keep on keeping on. To keep on smiling, loving and living, despite the fear or pain of loss and sense of despair that we all probably endure on our life’s journey. It’s the feeling of hope that has helped me resume living after more than one devastating loss in life. And it can help you to create a mind-set that helps you face your current challenges.”
Webster defines hope as “a desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.” John Piper emphasizes, “Hope can be used in three senses:
- A desire for something good in the future.
- The thing in the future we desire.
- The basis or reason for thinking that our desire may indeed be fulfilled.”
Piper continues with thoughts on Biblical hope, “Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future – it expects it to happen. And it only expects it to happen – it is confident that it will happen. There is a moral certainty that the good we expect and desire will be done.”
“There is a moral certainty that the good we expect and desire will be done” ~Piper
Our faith can be tested. Isaiah asserts, “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and the flame will not scorch you.”
Paul proclaims, “If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.”
And Paul reassures, “Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward person is decaying, yet our inward person is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory, while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not see. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Anne Frank was tested during the Holocaust, but seemed to keep her hope alive, “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
Brother Lawrence reaffirms, “Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more is possible for the person who has faith. And still more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues.”
Sometimes we must dig deep into the Word of God to renew our hope
Let us look to the Word of God for encouraging words of hope.
12 Psalms of Hope
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! (31:24)
Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield. For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name. Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You. (33:18-22)
And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You. (39:7)
Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God. (42:5)
Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my countenance, and my God. (42:11)
My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him. (62:5)
For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. (71:5)
But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. (71:14)
My soul languishes and grows faint for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word. (119:81)
Hold me according to Your promise, that I may live; and let me not be put to shame in my hope! (119:116)
I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope. (130:5)
The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. (147:11)
I appreciate how the Amplified Bible speaks of our hope; our earnest and expectant waiting for the Lord; our fear or reverence or worship or awe for Him, His mercy and loving-kindness; our trust for Him. I am so thankful that He is a Living God who ‘ever lives to intercede for us.’ I am thankful our hope is not in vain because Hope has a Name, Jesus. I am so thankful that hope renewed is Hope in God.
Lord, we bring to You today, our temptations for hopelessness. We give and surrender all of our burdens to You. Thank you for taking our weariness and heaviness. Thank you for giving our souls rest. We choose to wait expectantly for You, our Hope and Deliverer. Thank you for renewing our hope in You. Amen.
Isaiah 43:1b-2; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Psalms: 31:24, 33:18-22, 39:7, 42:5 & 11, 62:5, 71:5 & 14, 119:81 & 116, 130:5, 147:11; Matthew 11:28-30.
Amplified Bible. © 2015 Copyright by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) © 1954, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Fairchild, Mary. Biography of Brother Lawrence, Practitioner of God’s Presence. www.learnreligions.com , Updated July 31, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020. https://www.learnreligions.com/biography-of-brother-lawrence-5070341 [Note: Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman. He was a cook in a monastery in Paris, France and discovered the secret to cultivating holiness by ‘practicing the presence of God’ in the ordinary business of life.]
Sommer, Elle. 25 Quotes on Hope and Why it’s Important. www.livepurposefullynow.com, Retrieved December 14, 2020 https://livepurposefullynow.com/25-quotes-on-hope-and-why-its-important/
World English Bible (WEB) is in the public domain.
Other Resources – Music:
“Steffany Greitzinger – No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus (Official Lyric Video).” YouTube, March 30, 2020. Uploaded December 15, 2020.
“Stephen Christian – Hope has a Name (Official Lyric Video).” YouTube, August 25, 2017. Uploaded December 15, 2020.
“Lauren Daigle – You Say (Lyrics).” YouTube, May 5, 2019. Uploaded December 15, 2020.