Are you in the middle of a situation in which hope seems lost? Maybe you have lost your job. Or you’ve heard the word cancer from your doctor. Or you wonder if the secret dream in your heart will ever come to pass. How is hope possible?
What is hope? According to Mr. Webster, it means to cherish a desire with an expectation of fulfillment. Hope is a confident anticipation of good. It is not just wishful thinking or thinking positive. It is not the same as saying, “Well, I hope so.” Hope is as solid as a helmet, but no helmet will protect you from danger if you have laid it aside. When we lose hope we lose the battle.
You may feel like your world is crashing in around you, but you must be able to say to yourself, “Something good is about to happen.” Many times you won’t feel like it. You may feel abandoned, and have no idea at all how you’re going to make it. You’re going to have to reach deep into God’s resources, because no one has any reserves of their own to keep moving forward.
This past year was a tough one for me. The storms were relentless, one after another after another. I'm telling you these storms not to get your pity. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in your storms. Hope is what sustained me. Hope that it would get better.
Hope is for all of us. Not just those “glass half full” people. Hope is not wishing, and it is not “positive thinking.” Hope is a sure expectation that God will do what He promised. Hope is like floaties. Have you seen children in a pool wearing those little flotation armbands in order to keep their heads above the water? Hope is like that. It keeps you floating until you get to solid ground.
Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to keep hoping. Oftentimes, to keep a grip on hope will take both hands. Where are you drowning? Put on those floaties. You are being made stronger with every wave, and this storm is not bigger than God inside you. His name is Immanuel—God with us. He is not just the God up in heaven watching aloofly as His people suffer. No. He is with me. He is with you. In every moment.
In order to learn to hope again, always remember that God is good all the time; “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28); and something good is just about to happen.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope. (Lamentations 3:19–21, MSG)
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”Proverbs 13:12
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”Proverbs 4:23
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”Romans 8:28 NLT
“God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20 NLT
Father, I present myself to you in Jesus’ great name, and I declare that you are the source of my life. In you I live and breathe and have my very being. Take me on a journey to a place where hope is no longer deferred but where fulfilled desire becomes a tree of life. As I come running into your arms of redemptive love, do what only you can do. Only in you can all things be made new. Amen.