I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Psalm 130:5-8 (NIV)
Hope is a basic necessity of life because without hope there is no life. Hope gives us strength and joy. It fuels all the attitudes we’ve covered this year.
- We can’t be positive without hope.
- We won’t have confidence without hope.
- We can’t live contented without hope.
- Where is our patience with others when hope is gone?
- There is definitely no joy where there’s no hope.
- It’s hard to be kind to others with no hope in our hearts.
- All courage is lost when there is no hope.
- What do we have to be determined for when there is nothing to hope for.
But life here on planet Earth is often overwrought with problems which steal our joy and ultimately our hope…hope in life and hope in God. Everyone at one time or another will feel that urge to give up; like all hope is gone. Live long enough without hope and you may feel there is nothing left to live for. We either find hope, find a way to live without it, or take our own lives because the pain of giving up is far less than the pain of living one more day without hope. Perhaps you’re going through a trial or a season of trials that has drained your hope and strength. We all have unique challenges but everyone longs for hope, that light at the end of the tunnel; the promise that “it” will get better.
One example of hope is found in the life of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations, a book of mourning, during the darkest times of Judah’s history. During Jerusalem’s destruction though Jeremiah wrote these words of hope and expectation that God would come through on his promises.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
Lamentations 3:22-25 (NLT)
Another example is found in the New Testament. The disciples were full of hope that their savior had come; that Jesus was the Messiah, so when he died so did their hope. What were they to do now that they had witnessed hope itself die on a cross. And can you imagine being Peter, having betrayed your best friend and king? Where do you go from there? These men lived an extraordinary life; how then do you go back to ordinary?
Jesus also experienced deep grief and sorrow, despair beyond belief. The words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” grip my heart with despair and loss of hope. Anyone who has experienced the “dark knight of the soul” can attest to a spiritual loss of hope. Financial loss, loss of health, loss of a dream, divorce, loss of a friend or family member or in my opinion, the most horrific loss – the loss of a child can all rip hope right out of our hearts. Paul’s words in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” seem to frustrate rather than to give hope.
So often put our hope in the wrong places – in the world, in other people, in our abilities or finances – but all of that is like sinking sand. The only place we can find hope is in Jesus Christ. These words by Kutless tell us just where we need to go to find hope.
I lift my eyes up, unto the mountains
where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, maker of heaven
creator of the earth
oh how I need you Lord
You are my only hope
You’re my only prayer
so I will wait for You
to come and rescue me
to come and give me life
Lyrics from “I Lift My Eyes Up”
God is always hopeful; he never gives up on us even at our worst.
A Prayer for Hope
Thank you Jesus for being our inspiration and our source of hope. We thank you now for giving us the courage to see you and trust you in our most difficult times.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes