Hebrews 6:18-20 (TLB) He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them. This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven, where Christ has gone ahead to plead for us from his position as our High Priest, with the honor and rank of Melchizedek.
Hope knows that if great trials are avoided great deeds remain undone and the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted. (Brennan Manning)
Hope is the strong and trustworthy anchor of our soul. But what is hope by definition…
Hope is expectation.
Hope is the belief that looks forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
Hope is to believe, desire and trust.
This is hope. Now how do we find it and hold on to it.
Hebrews 11:1 (TLB) What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.
The purpose of faith in our life and given to us by God in perfect measure is to find hope. Not wishful expectation, but substantial hope that is weighty, like an anchor that keeps us from wavering and being tossed to and fro through life. Hope gives us a solid foundation if it is in Jesus Christ. All of this seems so circumstantial when our life is driven by certain fate and formed by consequences. But what if your circumstances, conditions, and consequences were all part of what God is using to secure your hope with great faith? What if God predestined us for hope knowing that sin, shame, failure, and hiccups would occur in our life? What if He prerecorded our life with these details on purpose? God created us knowing there would be sin in us. He knew that we would give our heart and mind to darkness and be led by selfishness. He provides a better way. First, He gave His Son to sacrifice for every single sin and its penalty. His Son bled out for you and me to have hope. He provided a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) and a map to eternity in our heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) This was to provide direction to hope. He also gave us His Spirit who continually molds and shapes the substance of our heart, mind, will and emotions to focus on hope when allowed to partner with us in this life. See I have everything I need to achieve hope in my life, but I must identify it properly to use it.
Psalm 3:1-3 (TLB) O Lord, so many are against me. So many seek to harm me. I have so many enemies. So many say that God will never help me. But Lord, you are my shield, my glory, and my only hope. You alone can lift my head, now bowed in shame.
These are the words of giant-killer David. The enemy against him was his own son, Absalom. At that moment in his devastation, he cried out to God. Look what he says, “But Lord, you are my shield, my glory and my only hope.” What if the things we face in life are meant to point us to God, our shield, our glory and our only hope? It would take some mighty grave and impossible situations to remove all the superficial securities in life to reveal that God alone is the lifter of our head. Healer. Redeemer. Restorer. What if our failures were not really failures at all but opportunities in our weakness for God’s Glory to be manifested?
Psalm 143:4-8 (TLB) I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the glorious miracles you did in days of long ago. I reach out for you. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens; don’t turn away from me or I shall die. Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for my prayer is sincere.
If my calculations are correct, it has been about 15 years since I asked the Lord to give me real faith. I was tired of religion and wanted a real relationship with Jesus Christ. The kind of connection that had the kind of credible and valid faith that prayed for things and got them. That could heal the sick. Be a light to the world. I didn’t want to know and understand faith as a word but as a lifestyle. Oh friend, be careful what you pray for if it is truly the desire of your heart – the Lord will give it to you. Hope is the product of faith sown and harvested in our life. The more that God shows His Faithfulness the more abandoned one becomes in the pursuit of hope. God is my only hope. This isn’t a dream that I had or a verse that I read. It has been revealed through trials too great to bear, tribulation to fiery to endure and tears too many to contain. It has come at the cost of expectation put in people who let me down completely. Hope means trusting an invisible God with our tangible life – all of it. To lay down any misconception of comfort, convenience and control to take up our Cross daily and follow Him through life and all its uncertainties. To believe that every impossible is possible for God and to live it out in our life completely. It is the removal of all façades that once kept us from the Lord to allow Him to use us as conduits for His Glory and Good even when it doesn’t feel glorious or good. It is to be completely broken with the promise of becoming a masterpiece despite the pain, sorrow and suffering within. It is to move when we like where we are. It is to obey when we really don’t want to. It is to become one with Christ which means giving up our way not once but every single day. Faith is a fight against our flesh that if won gives way to hope. Hope that is substantial, weighty and reliable even though it cannot be held, felt or touched.
Psalm 94:18-19 (TLB) I screamed, “I’m slipping, Lord!” and he was kind and saved me. Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.
I have come to believe that every single detail of our life has spiritual purpose. You cannot change my mind that every single tear is kept by God to water the growth that sorrow produces in us. What if you think you are losing hope but really you are finally finding it? “I’m slipping, Lord!” The cry of a heart in jeopardy gets God’s Full Attention. With shattered expectation and broken hearts, the human soul throws itself to the Lord finally saying the Name of Jesus and crying for help. It is all part of God’s Plan. Who truly seek the Lord in their comfort? Who thirsts for Him when drowning in options? Who pursues Him wholeheartedly with a hard heart? Nobody. God will allow our heart to experience turmoil in order to beckon our soul towards Him. There is purpose in your suffering. There is a plan surrounding your circumstances. Jesus is your only hope. He is my only hope. Anything else we put our expectation in has an expiration date. One day it will let you down even if that day is when you die.
Psalm 25:4-5 (TLB) Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk. Lead me; teach me; for you are the God who gives me salvation. I have no hope except in you.
I have no idea what trials you may be facing. I only know my own. I encourage you today to stop looking at the circumstances or current condition of your life to see God in them. He is there. He will never leave you or forsake you but patiently waits for you to look for Him. He will answer an honest cry with an open heart. He will show you the path where to go but most of the time it is a single step into darkness. How can I trust God with forever if I cannot trust Him for today? A question I ask myself on days when hope seems flimsy. We have the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct us. We must learn to say, “Yes!” Not why, maybe or no. Life without hesitation. Passionate pursuits of God’s Heart begin with just one “yes” and then another and another each one building a strong platform of hope from which mountains are moved, strongholds fallen, and miracles happen. You have it in you. He gave you His Word. Read it. Study it. Meditate on it. Really think about it in terms of natural life. Apply it. Do it. Do it again. Faith is required. It gives substance to hope. The brick and mortar of hope is faith and trust. You cannot have hope without them. Finally, every day and in all things know, understand and believe that Jesus is your only hope. Learn to depend on Him. Call on Him before telling everyone else. Seek His Counsel for every decision. Listen and you will hear His Voice.
Colossians 1:26-27 (TLB) He has kept this secret for centuries and generations past, but now at last it has pleased him to tell it to those who love him and live for him, and the riches and glory of his plan are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.