Today I had the privilege of speaking to my ministry family of followers about hope. The general stream of thought was that hope in God never disappoints. Hope is one of those words that is overused and misunderstood and speaks to us through a filter of our own context as we strive to understand exactly what it means to us. For example, people often make reference to hope as though it is wistful and wishful
as if to say, "I want things to be okay for you but best of luck either way." Such wishes are just that, wishes from well-intended human hearts that offer fleeting goodwill at best. Now by that I don't mean that to offer someone hope is meaningless or that we shouldn't do it. I am saying that the word hope has become watered down to have much less weight than God intended. HOPE in God (capitalized here for emphasis) is like a burning flame that He never extinguishes. Those of us that understand that God's version of hope is endless and eternal (even if we dart in and out of its light) get it that God's version of hope never disappoints. Instead, it is a beckoning flame of optimism that lifts the soul. When we allow God to give us HOPE, it counteracts the negativity we face as we are exposed to differing thoughts and views of life. In this HOPE we find light, even if it feels fleeting, that gives glimmers of better in the face of obstacles, defeat, and the voices of naysayers. I find that HOPE in God resets me. When people offer words of hope centered in the HOPE we have in God, it is different from those who are offering the dubious, sometimes doubtful wishes as if casting a vote for things to be alright. Don't misinterpret this to mean that we shouldn't offer well wishes and kind words to people, because we should, but as people who know how really good God is, it reminds us that when we place our hope in Him, it is not a HOPE that has the potential nor the probability to disappoint, even when it looks like things are not going our way. The Bible speaks of hope as expectation which is a far cry from a general wish for luck. When we hope in God (verb) or when we put our hope in God (noun), God delights in rescuing us for waiting on Him with the expectation that He will definitely come through and can be counted on no matter what. I have found that holding on with expectation for a positive outcome or an outcome that God favors gives me strength. Like a kid at Christmas, I know that something good is under that tree or better still, as an adult I know that something powerful happened because of a TREE, and I can confidently rest my hope in that. He has not disappointed me ever and I am assured He never will!
The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the person who seeks him.
Lamentations 3:25 (Common English Bible)