The other night, I realized how badly I need some good news … whisperings of hope. My heart is heavy from all the sadness and the constant drip drip drip of gloom and doom forecasts of the future.
Martin Luther wrote..
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”
It’s funny. I know I want and need hope. I know it when I have it and when it feels like I don’t. But today, I stopped for a minute to think about how I’d define it.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines it like this:
Hope is wanting something to happen or to be true, and usually includes having a good reason to think that it might.
A quote attributed to author Hal Lindsey says…
“A man can live about 40 days without food
About 3 days without water
About 8 minutes without air
But not for 1 second without hope!”
So, how would I describe hope?
Hope helps you and me endure when life is hard. Hope gives us what we need to believe things will get better in the future and that whatever we’re dealing with is temporary. Hope gives us the courage we need to get out of bed … even when life is hard. Hope helps us to keep trying to do what seems impossible even when we want to quit.
I want that! I need that!
I want to have hope!
Maybe you do too!
Not “pie in the sky by and by” unrealistic optimism. I don’t live with my head in the clouds. I am a realist; a hope-filled realist.
How does someone become a hope-filled realist?
I can’t say I would have always described myself that way. For years, my hope ebbed and flowed based on what was right in front of me. When a painful or difficult problem lingered … the degree to which I believed in a future positive outcome dwindled right along with my hope.
Because although I believed in Jesus … I set my hope on finding worldly solutions for worldly problems. And that my friend, is short-sighted.
I’ve been reading A Chronological Version of The Old Testament since the beginning of the year. And the truth is, Solomon was right…
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.Ecclesiasts 1:9
So, as I consider those centuries old words…
- I imagine myself in the grumbling Wilderness Wanderers who are tired of eating manna every single day.
- I see sin becoming more and more accepted … all so we can declare ourselves non-judgmental and tolerant.
- I observe the insistence of worldly solutions as the only answers to our spiritual problems.
- I watch prophets being denounced because our society has become satisfied and comfortable.
And in the Old Testament, when God witnessed those things, He allowed pain and problems to discipline the people doing them.
But I also see something else – even when God’s correction was distressing and painful, He always…
- Encouraged families and nations to turn back to the truth of His commands and promises.
- Offered them hope for the future.
The LORD of Heaven’s Armies said…
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14
“For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you. I will end your captivity and restore you…”Jeremiah 29:11–12
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself.”Jeremiah 31:3
Solomon was right … there is nothing new under the sun!
And the most important thing that has been true forever is that…
God’s love never fails!
And that’s how you and I are able to have hope when we need it most!
God’s love gives us hope that does not disappoint.
This hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.Romans 5:5–6
If you want hope today … put your name in the blank.
God’s love never fails _________!
Even when circumstances are difficult, His love never fails.
Even when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want, His love never fails.
Even when there is illness and death, and loss, His love never fails.
How can we know?
Because of Jesus!
Jesus said, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”John 3:16–17
Our current circumstances are not the end – God has promised us eternal life through Jesus. And that’s unfailing love that gives us HOPE! Hope that lasts! Hope we can count on!
So, when our circumstances are distressing and painful or when life is confusing and nothing makes sense, we can go to God’s proven promises for the hope we need.
I’d love to share some of my favorites with you…
50 Promises of God to Give You Hope.
- The Lord is my strength and my song. Exodus 15:2, Psalm 118:14
- The Lord is a warrior. Exodus 15:3
- The Lord is greater than all other gods. Exodus 18:11
- The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love. Numbers 14:18
- The Lord is God—there is no other. Deuteronomy 4:35
- The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth. Deuteronomy 4:39
- The Lord is your life. Deuteronomy 30:20
- The Lord is with you. Judges 6:12
- The Lord is peace. Judges 6:24
- The Lord is God who knows… 1 Samuel 2:3
- The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior. 2 Samuel 2:22
- The Lord is good. 2 Kings 20:19, Psalm 34:8, Psalm 100:5, Psalm 129:4, Psalm 135:3, Psalm 145:9, Jeremiah 33:11
- The Lord is glorious and strong. 1 Chronicles 16:28
- The Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
- The Lord is true wisdom. Job 28:28
- The Lord is a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
- The Lord is King forever and ever. Psalm 10:16
- The Lord is always with you. Numbers 14:11, Psalm 16:8
- The Lord is my shepherd. Psalm 23:1
- The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him. Psalm 25:14
- The Lord is my light and my salvation. Psalm 27:1
- The Lord is my strength and shield. Psalm 28:7
- The Lord is trustworthy and true. Psalm 33:4
- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18
- The Lord is the King of Glory, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Psalm 24:10
- The Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength. Psalm 93:1
- The Lord is glorious and strong. Psalm 96:7
- The Lord is compassionate and merciful. Psalm 103:8, Psalm 145:8
- The Lord is a Father to His children, tender and compassionate. Psalm 103:13
- The Lord is righteous, good, and kind in everything He does. Psalm 25:8, Psalm 145:17
- The Lord is close to all who call on Him. Psalm 145:18
- The Lord is watching everywhere. Psalm 139:1–6, Proverbs 15:3
- The Lord is a faithful God. Isaiah 30:18
- For the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. Isaiah 33:22
- The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. Isaiah 40:28
- The Lord is the Living God and Everlasting King. Jeremiah 10:10
- The Lord is my inheritance; I will hope in Him! Lamentations 3:24
- The Lord is here among us. Micah 3:11
- The Lord is a jealous God. Nahum 1:2
- The Lord is slow to anger. Nahum 1:3
- The Lord is our God. Zechariah 14:1
- The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Mark 12:29
- The Lord is risen. Luke 24:34
- The Lord is the One who judges me. 1 Corinthians 4:4
- The Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
- The Lord is coming soon. Philippians 4:5, Jude 1:14
- The Lord is faithful. 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 1 Corinthians 1:9
- The Lord is my helper. Hebrews 13:6
- The Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. James 5:1
- So we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love. God is love. 1 John 4:16
If you’d like a printable version of these promises – click here!
Friend, I think many of us are looking for hope at the moment.
But honestly, I’ve learned there is only one way to have hope and two ways to experience it.
The only way to have hope…
Is to trust in the Lord … our HOPE!
We can trust Him because He is faithful to keep His promises. Always has and always will! Every promise He ever made has either been kept in the past or we can count on it to happen in the future.
The two ways to experience hope…
- To spend time with God in His Word and prayer. (Know and pray His promises.)
- Spend time watching for and experiencing what God is doing in the world around you. (Watch for #WWGGG – What Would Give God Glory moments.)
There are stories of hope all around us. God is doing the impossible and miraculous every day.
Let’s spread hope by sharing our stories. Let’s proclaim what God is doing … what people are doing for His glory in their homes and communities.
May God bless you and bless you with His gift of HOPE!
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