Sunday, December 23, 2012


     According to Webster’s Dictionary, hope is defined as "to cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence" with the archaic definition: trust. (interesting)
     I hear the word “hope” used a lot. I hope you have a happy birthday. I hope I have enough….(fill in the blank), we hope there’s a white Christmas, you just got to have hope and... on and on. 
      Then I hear that Jesus is our hope.  Is it the same kind of hope? Until a recent Bible study, I never thought of the implications of the differences in the word “hope.”
Understand that when the Bible speaks of hope, it does not use the word in the same way we usually do today, meaning a faint glimmer of possibility…When the New Testament speaks of hope, it speaks of a certainty: The hope of eternal life rests upon the One who came to give us eternal life, and we are justified by His grace. This is rock-solid Reality!...If we do  not have a rock-solid hope in the midst of such rapidly shifting, dizzying, sickening changes, we will succumb to despair.   (Ray Stedman, Adventuring Through the Bible)
   Now that got me thinking about how much I say “I hope this” and “I hope that.”  Then, a few days later, my morning devotion was on hope:
     … The hope of heaven is meant to strengthen and encourage you, filling you with wondrous Joy.  Many Christians have misunderstood this word hope, believing that it denotes wishful thinking.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  … This hope keeps you spiritually alive during dark times of adversity; it brightens your path and heightens your awareness of my Presence.  My desire is that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling )

     This made me think of the old hymn (yes, I do know a few) The Solid Rock and the words "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." 
     I think twice now before I use the word "hope."  I no longer "hope" things turn out for the best. Now, regardless of how things turn out, my Hope (built on Jesus) will be with me and see me through.

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