Emil Brunner has said, “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.” Hope. It’s what we all need. Without hope, what reason would we have to live?
Why do we crave it so desperately? In short, in a world that is so uncertain, we want control. We crave certainty and predictability. The problem with that is that it’s inconsistent with faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).
The thing that God wants more than anything from us is for us to believe in Him, have faith in Him, trust Him, despite our circumstances, despite what we see. Keeping our faith means putting our hope in a God who never lies and always keeps His promises. It means choosing to believe, choosing to put our trust in Him, choosing to hope despite what we see or experience.
Scripture tells us in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We all experience trials and difficulties: medical diagnoses, job loss, estranged relationships, financial despair, failed marriages, and so much more. Hopelessness gives us no reason to continue fighting, no reason to live.
In this world, we tend to use the word “hope” when what we really mean is “wishful thinking.” It’s the kind of hope that anticipates something that may or may never happen; things that we long for: “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow;” “I hope my team wins the game;” “I hope we can get together soon;” “I hope I’m not late for work.”
This kind of “hope” suggests something that has the potential to be but offers no guarantees. It’s really akin to tossing a coin. That kind of hope is fleeting and unsatisfactory. It does nothing to abate our worry, fear, anxiety, discouragement, or despair, and often leaves us sitting on pins and needles.
That’s not the hope that God offers. Scripture tells us, “Your word is my source of hope” (Psalm 119:114). Those who have a relationship with God are offered a hope that means certainty because we know the God who never fails, never lies, and never breaks His promises.
As we read God’s holy Word, one thing that offers a hope that does not fail is one little word: will. Every time God says, “I will…” it always happens. When He told Abraham that He would bless him and multiply his descendants, it happened. When He told Moses He would harden Pharoah’s heart, He did. When He said He would bless the house of Israel, He did. When He said He would provide a Savior to rescue us, it happened.
During life’s most difficult times, when we need to hold onto something certain at a time when uncertainty rules, we need only look at the promises God has given us, in order for us to have hope:
During those times that we are tempted to feel hopeless, we must realize that is because we are putting our trust in people or things that are uncertain and may let us down. Instead, when we will put our hope, our faith, and our trust in God, we know that He will not disappoint. God never fails and never disappoints. We can trust in God, our hope in Him, with rock-solid certainty.
We want to connect with you and encourage you this week - Click here to join us over in the Sisterhood Conversation group as we dive into hope this month!
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: DR. MICHELLE BENGTSON
Dr. Michelle Bengtson is an international speaker, and the author of the bestselling, award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the award winning companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study” and the recently released “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” (Sept 2019). She has been a board certified clinical neuropsychologist for more than twenty years. This doctor knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to help others be all God created them to be. Using sound practical tools, she affirms worth and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of thirty-two years have two teenage sons and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com and is on most social media platforms. She is also a host of the award-winning podcast, “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson” at https://apple.co/2madPRo
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
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