This beautiful word has lost its meaning as it has been tossed around like a genie card used to voice our personal desires.
I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.
I hope you feel better soon.
I hope Green Bay wins the Super Bowl
But hope is more than wishful thinking.
Hope is more than covering up the pain.
Hope is more than hurried remarks about how things will turn out alright.
Hope is more than putting a patch over the not-yets and wish-they-weres.
I think what we are missing is that hope has very little to do with what will happen. Instead, the beauty of this profound four letter word is that it has everything to do with what has already been accomplished.
You see, hope began when our perfect Savior laid down His life on a shameful cross.
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”
This. Is. Hope.
Hope is the blood of Christ poured out for you.
Hope is being able to stand before a holy God because you have been clothed in righteousness.
Hope is confidently and joyfully looking forward to sharing in God’s glory.
Hope is the finished work of the Savior King.
But you want to know what’s even more incredible? This overwhelmingly wonderful truth doesn’t stop here.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. “
Hope can be strengthened.
Too often, I succumb to the mindset that hope and brokenness are at war with each other. But what if I stopped hoping that I would say the right things at the right time, that I wouldn’t mess things up again, that I would be strong and brave and accepted? What if, instead, I saw hope in my weaknesses and trials and failures? Because it’s there, in and through my weaknesses, where the strength of our mighty God dwells.
Hope dwindles when it is placed in what I can do, because I can never do enough. Hope is strengthened when I wait, when I am still, when I endure. Because that kind of hope rests in a God who never fails. Hope grows when I choose to reveal all the rough and raw parts of me instead of struggling to keep them hidden.
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”
This heart-full-of-His-love hope, brings healing.
This grounded-in-Christ hope ushers in redemption.
This hope, this beautiful, blessed hope, does not disappoint us.
And when crimson ran from His side and the Father turned away, when death was defeated and the grave overturned, when I was just a name on His lips…I was marked with this hope.