What is hope and how does it work?Nov 29, 2022
As I write this blog post we are in the first week of advent. During the first week of advent we focus on...
I found a great definition of hope online:
Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation."
The Christian faith is one filled with HOPE. While other religions focus on acceptance of what is, and what is not, with sober understanding that to detach from thinking it might be different is the pathway to peace...our faith focuses on what is yet to be with an anchor in the One who is perfectly capable of making it so.
Consider the message of hope woven throughout Scripture.
Our Bible is full of verses and reassurances of HOPE. We are a people who know eagerly that with God on our side, we have prosperity in our future, peace in our storms, and purpose in our pain.
We dare to believe that good things come to those who put their trust in God. Our hope isn't anchored in anything less than all that God is and promises to be.
If you find yourself today caught in the first half of Proverbs 13:12, don't forget that there's another half to that verse:
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick..."
And we would indeed be sick if we put our hope in circumstances, people, situations, or earthly provisions. But, instead of banking on lesser gods, temporary treasures, or inconsistent family members or friends, we put our hope in God.
And when we put our hope in God, we are reminded of the rest of this verse:
"...but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
We focus on HOPE this first week of the advent as we remember the prophets of old who anticipated the coming of the blessed Messiah. But unlike them, we live on the other side of their longing---where their future is our past. We see that Jesus fulfilled, not 1 or 2 of the prophecies recorded about Him, but EVERY ONE OF THEM! We know that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, HE fulfilled the hope of the world.
And so today we rejoice over the Savior that has come, and we also trust that because Jesus lives we can take God as His Word and apply His promises to our daily lives. We can live on both this side of the prophets' hope, and this side or ours. And we don't have to live with sick hearts because we know that the God we trust is both willing and able to fulfill the desires of our hearts.
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