The dictionary defines “hope” as…
- o cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true – as in hope for a promotion or hope for things to go well.
- To trust.
- To desire with an expectation of obtaining, accomplishing, or fulfilling.
- To expect with confidence.
So, of course, that made me wonder…
Based on those definitions – What gives people hope?
I started with a Google search of the question “What gives you hope?” and found the following answers:
- Not much.
- Knowing that things could always be worse.
- An inspiring person with strength and courage.
- The belief that things will get better.
- The determination and will power to improve whatever is wrong or overcome what’s going on.
- When a child smiles.
- Believing that dreams come true.
- A sense of humor.
Then I looked up the Biblical definition of the word “hope”…
Hope is the confident expectation, the sure certainty that what God has promised in the Word is true, has occurred, and or will occur in accordance with God’s sure Word.Bible.org
Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.Wiley Online Library
So, what’s the difference?
With the secular definition, the degree to which a person has hope is based solely on the strength of that person’s desires. But for those of us who believe that our hope is based on the Biblical definition … our hope, our strength is based on the promises of God.
In other words – you and I don’t have to be strong in order to be hopeful because weak or strong, God’s promises remain the same, God remains the same and He IS the source of our hope.
The writer of Hebrews wrote:
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1
The Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.Romans 15:4
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
And, one more…
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
So, you and I don’t have to be strong to achieve that thing for which we hope; God Himself is our source of strength, confidence, peace, and hope … He has always been and He always will be true to His promises.
I don’t know about you, but I find that very encouraging.
As do many of my friends. I asked them…
What Gives You Hope When You Need It Most?
Here’s what they had to say in response to the question – What gives you hope?
- Stacey wrote, “Looking back on the ‘suicidal’ me, seeing how far He’s brought me from there and knowing He’s not DONE with me yet!! Praise His Holy Name!!”
- Jenn wrote, “Truly, the Word of God gives me hope. Many years ago, I read in Psalm 107 that God sent forth His Word and healed the people. My spirit latched onto that and hasn’t let go. His Word and being in intimate relationship w/ Him have brought me so much healing.”
- Sandra said, “God’s Word.”
- Samantha wrote, “The knowledge that God is in my corner which I know to be true based on the experiences. I’ve seen God’s unending faithfulness in my life over and over again.”
- Teri said, “The presence of the Holy Spirit gives me hope. Being down and out for over a month and a half, I’ve relied so desperately on His ‘still small voice’.”
- Shelley wrote, “Reading and learning the Word of God gives me hope and the peace that ‘passes all understanding’.”
- Patsy said, “The promises of God and His faithfulness.”
- Dawn wrote, “Jesus and the message of the Gospel.”
- Sarah said, “Reading in Revelation 21–22 about the New Heaven and New Earth where there will be no more tears of suffering.”
Over the years, others have shared…
- God’s grace and forgiveness give me hope … no matter how many times I mess up, what Christ has done has already cleaned up my mess.
- The grace of God in Christ Jesus gives me hope.
- Knowing God is in control of my life here on earth and for eternity and that His only motives for me are love.
- Trusting that God is faithful and that He always keeps His promises.
- Knowing I belong to the Lord and that someday I will live with Him forever.
- The testimonies of people who have been changed by the saving grace, mercy, and love of God.
- Knowing God has everything under control even when it looks to me like nothing is under control.
- Have the peace and strength that only God can give … making it possible to take things one day at a time.
- Remembering that God created me, sent Jesus to save me, and calls me His own.
- The confidence that nothing happens outside of God’s control.
Would you like to know what gives me hope when I need it?
God’s patient love and transforming power!
The way He worked in my life to create a hope-filled story that changed everything.
I’m sitting here trying to find the words to explain it to you and tears fill my eyes as I think about the journey God allowed to take me from an anxious people-pleasing afraid to make a mistake “good girl” … to a completely broken hopeless mess.
(Two of my favorite words in the Bible because they are always followed by verses that tell of God’s gracious love and transforming power. They always bring words of hope!)
But God, in His mercy gently put the pieces back together. Not all of them. There are still parts of my story that aren’t completely filled in … but that’s where the hope shines through.
That’s where I can come to you and say, if Jesus can heal this broken mess and in the process transform me into someone who wants to simply live each day surrendered to honoring His command to…
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”Luke 10:27
It sounds so simple and yet, we make it so complicated, don’t we?
This is why I know I need the hope that comes from knowing and trusting God’s promises.
7 Promises from the Message that will Give You Hope When You Need It Most
God loves you.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.John 3:16 (MSG)
God will meet every need you have.
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.Philippians 4:19 )MSG)
God’s grace and forgiveness give you freedom.
That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.Romans 6:12–14 (MSG)
God will protect you when you are tempted.
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)
God cares for you and He is always with you.
God has said,Hebrews 13:6 (MSG)
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”
So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?”
God is always working for your good and His glory.
God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.Romans 8:26–28
God promises you will have a home with Him
forever and always.
Jesus said, “My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand.”
“Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”John 10:27–28 & John 14:1–2 (MSG)
And finally, a verse to memorize that will give you hope when you need it…
Why am I discouraged?Psalm 43:5
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
So, let me ask you…
What gives you hope when you need it most?
We would love to pray for you.
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