3. Hope hōp/
18Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.
Growing up I remember the feeling of disappointment. Whether the disappointment was from my dad breaking another promise or from one of my celebrity role models choosing a life of drugs and alcohol instead of their role on Disney channel. Disappointment was real. It sunk to the bottom of my stomach and made my mind feel like it was spinning. Why? Because I hoped that people would keep their word. That they would choose good over evil. My hope was in them. As I grew up my hope was placed in tomorrow. My mind would focus on the future. I would place my hopes in a date or a type of job. I would think about whatever I was hoping for as if the thoughts were each little wishing stars. Disappointment has still been real. Hoping in tomorrow has not been the cure of living a life with less disappointments.
The dictionary defines hope as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. It likens hope to a wish, expectation, or desire.
At the beginning of 2016 I knew that I needed to understand hope a lot more. 2015 had been full of grieving after losing my dad and my grandpa. Hope was something that I knew I needed. I decided that I was going to focus on hope this year. What I forgot was that embracing a word comes with embracing the fight to protect it. Hope quickly became something more than a wish. But before it can become more I had to realize what I was placing my hope in.
Through this year I have realized that the question isn’t what am I hoping for, but who am I hoping in? Pastor Steven Furtick once said, “Disappointment is the doorway to a deeper hope.” When I heard this it struck a chord in my heart. Disappointment is not a fun feeling, but like all pain it is an indicator of something that is wrong. Too often I found myself blaming God because the things I hoped for that did not happen, yet the things I hoped for that did happen usually did not sustain me, unless the hope that was placed in something God could only do, flourished.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 ESV
Hope in the Bible is referred to as an anchor. Firm. Not fleeting from one idea to the next. True hope was meant to be found in the promise of Jesus being our Savior, God loving us, and the eternal future that we have been promised when we believe in Him. Hope was meant for more than a desire for a certain thing during Christmas, a date from someone in your class, or even financial break throughs. True unwavering hope is found in the promises that Jesus has given. The promise that He won’t leave us. The promises of Him being with us through it all. The promise of His unconditional love.
Through this journey of hope I have found something more. I have found that hope produces a feeling of trust. Even in times of not seeing or hearing God, because of hopes we placed in Him in the past, we are able to remember the faithfulness that He possesses and that pushes us to hope more.
When you trust someone you choose to stay consistent because you know they have and are doing right by you. Hope pushes you to be consistent. Hope pushes you to take care of the hard things. Hope allows you to stay grounded when the earth is shaking.
My prayer for you is that you would allow yourself to hope this year. That you would hold tightly to the confidence you have in Christ and that you would be able to declare that He who promised is faithful, because you have experienced His faithfulness more and more. My prayer is 2017 would be a year of hope. In times where you realize you have lost it, that you would find it in Him.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 ESV
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”