Hope (verb): to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence.
I think that my personal definition of hope has always been a little...off. It never went beyond I hope we go...I hope I end up...I hope they think...I hope I don't...etc. Notice the normal context in which it is used...I, me, my, wants and desires. If Christ is truly our Hope, what does that mean? What does that look like when it is played out in our day to day lives? God sustains us by revealing Himself to us. In trusting Him, He leads us to a quiet hope. A security that is irreplaceable by any promise or guarantee that the world has to offer us. Hope means going beyond our daily experiences, both unpleasant and enjoyable, to the joy of knowing God. One cannot trust Him, unless they know Him. And one cannot place their hope in Him, if they do not have faith. We live by trusting in Him, not the benefits, happiness, or success we may experience in this life. Our hope comes from God. Does this mean that as Christ followers we have a guarantee that there is no dissapointment? Or that life is going to go exactly as we would choose for it to? Of course not. The beautiful part is that in the midst of the hardships, the trials, and the sufferings, all of which are promised to come our way, HE is our hope! He is trustworthy. His promises are true. He was, is, and will be. In the midst of all of the seasons and change, He is the constant. The promise that He has redeemed us and will continue to sanctify us to become more like Himself. The promise that He is working ALL things, the good, the bad, and the ugly, for our good. That He will continue to draw us to Himself. That he can use the most unworthy vessels to glorify Himself. When our hope is in Him, there is an unexplainable joy that comes. I believe that in order to live life with this hope in Him, one must constantly be filling their minds and hearts with His promises. Satan will plant seeds of doubt, confusion, and fear, all lies in order to throw us into a tailspin. Yet in claiming His truth, He enables us to walk with strength on the road that He has for us.
"And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it..." 1 Peter 3:15
May we be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that are placed before us to share with those who ask why we are "ok" during hard times. How in the midst of such insecurity and uncertainty we can be so full of hope. I pray that we do not shy away, but speak boldy of our confidence that stems solely from our faith in Christ alone...He is our Hope of Glory.
"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Hebrews 11:1
My most recently overplayed song is "You'll Come", by Brooke Fraser of Hillsong United (do yourself a favor and buy it)...one of my favorite lines in it is, "as surely as the sun will rise, You'll come to us..." That is a truth we can cling to regardless of our surroundings. You are pursuing us, and You will return for us...that is a hope that nobody can steal from us.