May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13, ESV)
Life gets tough and sometimes people lose hope that better days are ahead. Job 14:1 (ESV) says, “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” None of us can expect a totally carefree life, but that does not mean we should give up hope.
What is hope? Is it the same thing as faith?
Hebrews 11:1 answers this question. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (ESV). Although hope and faith are closely related, they are not the same. Hope is expectation—looking forward to what can be—and faith is complete assurance that God will fulfill His promises.
- It was hope for a better life that put Ruth on the road to Bethlehem. Even when her sister-in-law Orpha turned back toward Moab, Ruth kept moving toward her expectation (Ruth 1).
- The woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:24-34) pushed her way through the crowd to Jesus because she had hope, an expectation of healing if she reached Him.
- It was hope—expectation—that caused two blind men on the road outside Jericho to continue crying out to Jesus, even when the crowd told them to be quiet (Matthew 20:29-34).
Whatever situation we may be facing, we must never lose hope. When everything around us feels bleak and dead, there is still hope that new life will spring forth. This is not the end; the roots are still alive.
“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant” (Job 14:7-9, NKJV).
Those who have never learned to trust God may find themselves filled with fear and anxiety. But God’s Word promises that if we place our hope in Him, He can deliver us and make our lives fruitful again.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8, NKJV).
A minister once stated:
“The bigger you make your God, the smaller you make your problems.”
That is wise advice. Keep hoping. Keep believing. The God of hope will bring us through the most difficult of times because He is bigger than any problem that comes our way. Wait patiently for your hope to be fulfilled.
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:24-25, ESV)
Lord, I pray to be patient as I wait in hope for Your promises to come to pass. When I begin to feel anxious and fearful, fill me with hope. I am assured that You are completely faithful and will bring me through any trial or difficulty I may face. Thank You for being a God of hope.
(Other verses to study: Psalm 38:15, Psalm 42:11, Psalm 62:5-6, Hebrews 10:23.)