What is hope?
I’ve been struggling with that question for a while now. I’m in a season of waiting, and it seems like hope comes and hope goes. Excitement comes when the hope of a job prospect starts to unfold and then all hope seems crushed when it falls apart. That leads to asking the question of why? Why even hope? All it does is disappoint. At the very least, that’s where I’ve started this journey – searching.
So that leads to answering the question, “What is hope?” I mean, we hear about it. The old guy President Snow in the Hunger Games movie said, “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” Oprah has a section on her website about quotes that give hope. Google found what seems to be a gazillion places where one can find more quotes on hope. You know, those that make us feel fuzzy on the inside when we need that fuzzy warm feeling.
But all of that feels so insignificant to me. Yea, I brought up Oprah, only because it came up quick when I typed in “Quotes about hope” in my search bar and was intrigued. I have no desire to read anymore of her feel-good philosophy. It may work for tv, but not real life. Anyway, digressing back to the point here, searching to answer how hope fits into real life.
If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know I unashamedly believe that the Bible is truth. So that’s where my search begins, in the concordance of a bible, which is really just a big word for the index. In there we can find things about putting our hope in the Lord. David proclaimed that his hope was in the lord. Paul described that hope comes from the Lord, and that along with faith and love, it is one thing that will remain. But that doesn’t really help me much, so I need to define what hope is.
The Dictionary app on my iPhone defined hope in this way;
- A person or thing in which expectations are centered
- To look forward with desire and reasonable confidence
- To desire something with confident expectation of it’s fulfillment
Now, having a definition of hope, I can put it back in scripture to make a little more sense. I’ll use the one that has really spoken to me Psalm 130:5. It says, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Now to you that may not say a lot, but in my journey, it’s life-giving. Grouping this together with what i’ve been learning about waiting, here’s what it’s saying to me, “I patiently anticipate the Lord, my soul stands in readiness, and in him all my expectations are centered.”
To center my expectations in the Lord means that I’m believing that his word is truth when it says he will provide for me in Matthew. It means believing that my identity, my foundation, who I am to the core, is rooted in Jesus. It means that I have confidence that whatever trial I face, will bring perseverance. Perseverance produces character. These are what he’s promised to me and there are many more I could name here but I won’t, I’ll let you figure those out for yourself because then they’ll actually mean something to you.
I’ll leave you with my paraphrase of this scripture