God’s intention for you and me is to be a people of great joy. Well fabulous, we are half way through 2019 and I am seriously not feeling it. I am seriously struggling this month and all I seem to want are so many more things than I want Jesus. So. Many. More. Things.
Sleep. Getting my to do list finished. My basement to dry out. A vacation. Hitting YTD quota at work. A bigger bank account. Yadda, yadda.
In January, I wrote about choosing my personal theme of 2019 to be Joy Unspeakable and in that blog I wrote about how joy derives from hope. You can't get to the emotion of joy without hope.
Ok, well then where does hope come from? And what should we hope for? (Um, pretty sure it isn't my list above)
Hope is built on faith.
Well then what is faith?
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for.” Hebrews 11:1
Faith and hope are related concepts.
Without faith, there is no hope, and without hope there is no true faith. Faith is a complete trust or confidence in something. Hope is the earnest anticipation that comes with believing something good. Hope is a confident expectation that naturally stems from faith. Hope is a peaceful assurance that something that hasn’t happened yet will indeed happen. Faith is grounded in the reality of the past; hope is looking to the reality of the future.
How can the future be a reality?
Because of who God is. Our hope cannot lie in other people, circumstances or desires we may have. Putting our trust in those things certainly leads to disappointment and not joy. Confident expectation (hope) only comes from God.
Here is how you know if you have biblical hope:
1. Biblical hope has no doubt attached to it.
The biblical definition of hope is "confident expectation." One of the verses in which we find the word hope is Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This verse at the beginning of the faith chapter (Hebrews 11) carries with it all of the confidence that comes with knowing for sure, with no question, what we have been promised by God in His Word.
2. Biblical hope is a by-product of faith.
"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" Romans 8:24
Faith is a substance, a tangible reality. Faith is activated by hope and they work together. To have hope, you must have faith.
We know wind exists, but we cannot see it, only experience it's effects.
We know air exists, but we cannot see it, only experience it's effects.
We know cold exists, but we cannot see it, only experience it's effects.
We know love exists, but we cannot see it, only experience it's effects.
And so it is with hope. We do not hope for what we already have. That is not hope. Hope is a complex emotion, made up of an earnest desire, and an expectation of obtaining an object. It has reference to what is presently unseen. But when the object is seen, and is in our possession, it cannot be said to be an object of hope. The Word hope means the object of hope, the thing hoped for. And so while we cannot see the thing hoped for, we believe that in a future time it will exist and then, experience it's effects.
What do you hope for? I pray you experience it’s effects.