Have you ever felt the sting of disappointment? Perhaps it was more than a sting. It could have been a crushing, life-altering event, a missed opportunity, unfulfilled promise, betrayal, pain, or loss – things most of us have experienced to some degree in this life. Adversity can cause soul wounds that cause us to become cynical, lose hope, stop dreaming, and become discouraged and bitter.
As believers in Christ, we carry a hope that is not of this world. Oftentimes in the church world I have heard the scripture repeated, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” However, that is only half of the verse. In its entirety, it beautifully says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Psalm 13:12 NIV). So, why do we seem to focus on hope being deferred instead of the longing being fulfilled? When we stop there, we miss the promise. We miss the vision for the future. We miss God’s heart of life, love, and assurance.
The Author of Hope
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NKJV)
“The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11 NIV)
God is the author of hope. In fact, He delights in our expectation in Him! Hope is an expression of our trust in Him. It is a fruit of faith, and there is nothing that pleases God more than our faith! According to John 10:10, He is not the reason for hope being deferred in our lives. He is the source of our godly longings being fulfilled. His gifts to us are good and perfect (James 1:17)!
The Message of Hope
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and he has anointed me to be hope for the poor, healing for the brokenhearted, and new eyes for the blind, and to preach to prisoners, ‘You are set free!’ I have come to share the message of Jubilee, for the time of God’s great acceptance has begun.” (Luke 4:18-19 TPT)
Hope is the message of the Gospel! This passage sums up the gospel. It is a beautiful expression of the life of Jesus and the heart of God toward all mankind. Jesus came to BE HOPE to us! Hope for salvation, restoration, and healing. He became hope for revelation, vision, joy, and acceptance, for a new life and a new and better covenant. He became our hope for peace, promises fulfilled, and eternal freedom! This passage represents Jesus’ life on Earth, and it represents what Jesus living through us should look like today! We did not revert to the old covenant after Jesus ascended into heaven. No, He ushered us into the age of grace and reconciliation in which He now lives through us! We live infused with His Spirit, always empowered to bring heaven to earth! We are now the embodiment of hope in this world.
The Anchor of Hope
“This hope we have as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19 MEV)
Hope is an anchor for every battered, injured and weary soul. Confidence in Christ and His promises steadies us like nothing else can during times adversity. When circumstances prove to be challenging, we can, by faith, choose expectation over despair. Beyond what we can see, deeper than we can feel, is an abiding hope that is stronger than any storm of life.
We can share this supernatural confidence with the world around us. When we choose to release hope into a situation, we bring heaven to earth in that moment. As a result, it changes the atmosphere! There are countless ways we can impart hope to the world daily. Remaining sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading causes divine opportunities to be clearly illuminated to us. For instance, it could be a surprise for our spouse, a faith filled prayer for someone in need, an act of kindness for a neighbor, an idea birthed in wisdom at work, a word of encouragement to the clerk, impartation of healing to the sick, a gesture to help someone who is struggling, or an act of generosity to a stranger. Those actions may seem small in the moment, but they can literally change the course of a person’s day or even their life!
The Power of Hope
“As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” (Romans 4:17-18 NIV)
Hope is powerful! It brings life to the scene of death and destruction. Are you discouraged, downtrodden, cynical, and weary today? Does a situation in your life look dead and hopeless? Like Abraham, make the choice to hope against all hope as you trust the God who gives life to things that are dead and calls things into existence with His words. I challenge you to lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus, exhale, and believe once more.
If hope has been deferred in your life and you feel disillusioned, look to the One who knows every detail. He has seen every wrong, and He alone is the God of true justice. You can trust His Holy Spirit to blow on the embers of expectancy that still smolder in the depths of your soul. Give Him space and permission to stir up the dreams He placed in your heart long ago, so that you may once again abound in hope by the power of His Spirit. May every longing He has placed within you be fulfilled. His love for you is endless, and He is faithful!
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