Hope in God By Teresa Fields
Everyone needs hope to live in this world as God intended. Hope is described as ‘a desire of some good’ that also has the ‘belief that it is attainable’ in theWebster’s 1828 Dictionary. It is hard to imagine going through life without any expectation of good at all. Yet, there are people around the world that have no hope! Webster has an even stronger definition of hope: “the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises.”
Let us explore the value of hope that comes from knowing God. It is given to us when we are born again. Paul the Apostle describes the people in Ephesus before they came to Christ as “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). Hope comes alive in the heart of a new believer as part of his recreated spirit. It is a quality of the Spirit of God Who comes to live in each of our hearts. We can say that we have received an expectation of good when we were born again. That is Good News!
Hope is extremely valuable for the believer. First of all, hope causes us to have strength. Psalms 31:24 in the Amplified Classic version tells us, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!” In the New King James, you can see how this strength is given to us. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
Before he was crowned the king of Israel, David had many opportunities to be afraid and to lose hope. His enemies did not want him to take his rightful place as their king. Just as he did when he was a young shepherd, David spent time worshiping and seeking God for help and strength. He waited in God’s presence, expecting answers, guidance, protection, and strength. He expected a good outcome to the difficulties he was experiencing. He encourages us today with his hope in God in Psalm 27, verses 13 and 14: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
The Amplified Bible expands verse 14 further to say:
“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”
The more we read the scriptures, the easier it is to see that God is the only One we can put our hope and expectation in. In Psalms 39:7 David prayed:
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.”
As God’s Word continues to give us strength, we discover the value of hope as a choice. The meaning of hope as a verb in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is to place our confidence in something or someone. It is also defined as trusting in someone with “confident expectation of good.” Confidence in God comes from experiencing the faithfulness of God. David had to tell his soul (his mind, will, and emotions) to hope in God instead of being cast down and complaining. From his many years of seeking God in worship, he learned that God was Good. He put his focus on God and his hope in God; he chose to praise rather than to moan and be upset.
Psalms 42:5 in the Amplified expresses this so well: “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.”
The choice is ours: whether to be discouraged or to put our hope in God. His desire is for us to confidently expect good in our lives by developing a relationship with Him. When we trust Him, He begins to change circumstances and turn situations around for our good. Our ability to hope grows as we base our expectations on the promises of God. When discouragement comes, we can choose to turn our eyes to the Faithful One Who delivered and helped King David countless times. He is the same God Who provided salvation through His Son Jesus for all mankind. Then one day, we can look back over our lives and say what David said:
“For You are my hope; O Lord God,
You are my trust from my youth and
the source of my confidence.”
My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less,