“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
In my book, HOPE is one of those things that I need as much as I need love. But what is hope? I mean really. We use it as flippantly sometimes as we use the word love. For example, I hope we win the game. I hope we get to go to the movies. I hope today is a good day. But the hope that I am talking about here is the hope that comes from the God of hope and that comes to us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope is cultivated in us when we feel at peace with what is going on around us and when we can have joy in our circumstances, even when the circumstances don’t feel very peaceful or joyous. We don’t have hope only when things are already good. No, quite the contrary, we need hope when things are uncertain more than ever. It’s recognizing that there can be better days ahead.
In thinking about hope and how to explain the hope that we receive from the Holy Spirit, I did what I always do. I looked up the definition of the word. Webster says that hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or to be true. And while that is true, I think that the hope that we can have through the Holy Spirit is much deeper than that.
To me the true meaning of hope is in knowing that God has me in His hands. It’s knowing that everything that happens to me is sifted through His hands. Even when it’s stuff that is not pleasant or is downright heartbreaking. Hope is the knowledge that I will survive it because He has my circumstances, He has the hurt and that He has me! And because He has me, I have HOPE. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a future that will not necessarily be free from pain or sadness or heartache but that will have Him in it and that because of Him I can feel joy and peace even when the stuff of life is hard or it hurts.
Hope is knowing that God is working things out for my good, because I love Him. (Romans 8:28) Hope is what anchors my soul to Him. (Hebrews 6:19) Hope is knowing that God has good plans for my future. (Jeremiah 29:11) And …
“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
The bottom line is this. If we have Him, we already have HOPE. First of all, we know that when we are spending eternity with Him, that we will have no more tears, pain and heartache. But it is also the knowledge and belief that things can be better here. There is a verse in Psalms that has always been a favorite of mine. While I usually use the ESV, I love the way this verse reads in the NIV.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13
I love that! To me the Psalmist is grasping where his hope lies when he says “I remain confident of this”. The hope that the Holy Spirit gives us is something we can remain confident in. This hope is not a wavering hope or a shallow hope but it is something we can be confident in. And I love that the Psalmist is not just placing his hope in what comes next. It’s not just in eternal life, but it is that he will see goodness from the Lord in the land of the living, while he is still on earth.
Friends, I don’t know what you are facing today. I don’t know what hurts or heartaches may be in front of you. But I pray that you feel the HOPE anchoring your soul that only the Holy Spirit can bring. I pray that you know His hope! I pray you know that He is working your circumstances for good. I pray that we will remain confident in His goodness.