Monday, September 19, 2011


Sometimes there are certain words that seem to pop up more than others. It's like something is lurking in the shadows that I'm supposed to find and these recurring words are my clue. So whenever I notice a common theme in stories, verses, or sermons that I encounter, I tend to pay attention. 
Lately the word Hope has been following me around. It literally pops up everywhere. It's one of those words I never really paid much attention to because we use it all the time. "I hope it rains," or, "we're hoping for the best," or "I hope I can find some chocolate before I faint." It often comes with the connotation of uncertainty in our language. It's as if hope has taken on a meaning of chance. Consequently, when I hear someone talking about sharing hope with victims of a disaster or read a verse about hope, I guess that's just how my brain subconsciously interprets it. 
Recently I had one of those "of duh" sort of moments. I suddenly realized, "DUH! that's not what hope is." At least, that's never how the word "hope" is used in the Bible. Certainly not any time I can think of. When God says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He will give you a hope and a future, He surely is not talking about giving you a chance at good future. When the Bible talks about putting your hope in God, it surely is not a thing of uncertainty. After all, with all the uncertainties of life, why would you throw in your lot with more uncertainty? No, in fact, when hope is mentioned in the Bible, it is very much a thing of expectancy and anticipation.
God gives us certain promises in His Word in which we can have expectant hope, knowing He will do what He has promised because He is faithful. It's not a matter of "I hope God comes through," but a matter of "God said He will do this and He will!"
I ordered several things online recently from a certain well-known website using a gift card with which I had been blessed. Since it was a gift, I didn't have to pay for the items--they had already been paid for. All I had to do was use the card to cover the cost of what I needed. Then it was just a matter of waiting for my packages to arrive. I was waiting with an expectant hope and much anticipation! One of my packages took entirely too long to arrive. Eventually it did arrive, but if it had not arrived I would have had every right to write the company and complain and demand they make it right. Even if it wasn't the company's fault things didn't go right, I have a guarantee that they will deliver.
To me this is a perfect example of the hope we have in God's promises. I had redeemed my prize that someone else paid for and now the items were mine. All I had to do is wait for them to arrive. I may have had to put in a little effort to fight for my right if things didn't go as planned, but that would be an exception to the general rule of how things work. So it is with the promises of God. He paid for them. Now it's up to us to take possession of what He has given us. Sometimes it requires a long wait and a lot of patience. Sometimes it takes a bit of a battle to keep the enemy from running interference. But we can know with a confident hope that God does provide what He promises and He will come through for us!

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