I can’t thank you all enough for climbing into this conversation about HOPE. Thank you for helping shape these final thoughts as you shared your insights. Below are a handful of truths that emerged over these many weeks. As they have gained entrance into my thinking, they are now working their way into my responses to life.
I believe in having them at the ready (like mental flash-cards); to draw upon when my own soul would be tempted to despair, or to apply as a balm to someone who might be battling discouragement. And of course, these are but a smattering of all the Bible offers to reinforce the reality that our HOPE is rightly placed in God through faith in Jesus Christ. I sincerely pray these final thoughts encourage you as they have me.
Once I had no HOPE.
I’m reminded of the gift it is to periodically look back and see where I have come from. I literally cannot imagine trying to navigate through life as I once did… without God. Thank you Jesus, for wooing me to Yourself and saving me! Once I was “separated from Christ, having no HOPE and without God in the world,” (Ephesians 2:12).
HOPE is mine in Christ.
I am a person of HOPE. This was deposited to me as a gift when I came to faith in Christ! “Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,”
(2 Thessalonians 2:16).
HOPE in GOD is entirely reliable. It cannot fail.
A soul anchored to God has found the singular place where it is entirely safe. Each phrase from this passage in Hebrews should be savored! “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,” (Hebrews 6:17-19).
HOPE is meant to mature in me.
God intends that HOPE have its full expression in me. I should expect that to be a process of the work of the Spirit of God as I cooperate in relationship with Him. Here are two ways that will happen:
~ through relationship with God as I meet with Him in His Word,(Romans 15:4; Psalm 119).
~through the active presence of the Spirit of God in me as I live my life under His control, (Romans 5:1-5).
I’m meant to be able to account for my HOPE.
I’m responsible to be prepared to explain why HOPE lives in me, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15).
HOPE sometimes wanes.
While HOPE might wane for a child of God, it does not disappear. It is simply temporarily inaccessible. “Simple” in no way implies that the heart does feel significant hardship, even overwhelming pain and disorientation. But there is a world of difference between having literally LOST HOPE and not being able to draw upon it for a time. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation,” (Psalm 42-43 ).
HOPE is an expression of love.
When I HOPE all things for someone, I am loving them. As a child of God, commanded to love as Christ loved, I must have HOPE at the ready for those in need. Love, “hopes all things,” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8).
HOPE is meant to ABOUND in me.
Ultimately, God’s desire it that HOPE would abound in me; that it would manifest in its fullest expression. The more life I do with Him, the more I trust Him. The more I know about Him, the more confident in Him I become. The roots of my HOPE allow me to draw upon the life-waters that are far below the surface of the cares of life. “May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in HOPE,” (Romans 15:13).
The Solid Rock ~ Charlie Hall
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and Stay
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand