It could be said that these are hopeless days. It could be said, but I won’t say it; and I don’t believe it. God has given each of us a reason to hope; a reason not to give up. The One who created this world, also created me. He knows how many stars are in the sky and He knows how many hairs I have on my head. Nothing gets past Him. He wasn’t surprised by this pandemic. And if I remember all of that, I can remember that He has a plan and all I need to do is keep my hope focused on Him.
I went to two of my favorite places to do a little digging today, the Bible and Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, to find out what they each had to say about hope.
The dictionary defines it this way:
HOPE: A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that is is obtainable. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good.
Even though it may feel like we are living in the darkest of times, I can have hope and confidence that I serve a Mighty God who has conquered more than what I may be going through today. I know that God can make something good come out of all that seems bad and sad and wrong. And I have the confidence that He will!
Where does my confidence come from? It comes from knowing God and being known by Him. It comes from acknowledging that I can’t deal with so much sorrow and pain on my own. My confidence comes from knowing that Jesus has already offered to take on my burden so I can lean into Him and be at rest. It comes from knowing He is in control; He has things fully and completely under control. You see, my hope is in God. Everything I desire or need, I trust that He will take care of it.
My faith may sound rather simplistic to some; that’s ok, I don’t mind. My faith has very little to do with what others think. It has everything to do with Jesus!
In the New Living Translation Bible, King David wrote a psalm that is a much better definition of what it means to me to live with my faith and hope resting in God.
O Lord, I give my life to You. I trust in You, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You. Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and unfailing love, which You have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of Your unfailing love, for You are merciful, O Lord.
The Lord is good and does what is right; He shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep His covenant and obey His demands.
For the honor of Your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose. They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land. The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him. He teaches them His covenant. My eyes are always on the Lord, for He rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me disgraced, for in You I take refuge. My integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in You.
O God, ransom Israel from all its troubles. – Psalms 25
There is something incredibly comforting when I read words written so long ago that feel as though they could have come out of my mouth today! Our God is a good God and He longs for the entire world to come to Him. I pray every day that God will give me someone I can talk to about Him. I pray every day that He will use stories like these to touch people’s hearts and be a part of drawing the world closer to my everlasting Father!