Hope

“Hope” is the thing with feathers —
That perches in the soul —
And sings the tune without the words —
And never stops — at all —

And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard —
And sore must be the storm —
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm —

I’ve heard it in the chillest land —
And on the strangest Sea —
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb — of Me.

by Emily Dickinson

What is Hope? We use the word countless times a day. Hope you feel better, Hope you have a safe trip, Hope everything goes well with your surgery. Hope…hope…hope, like little prayers flying from our lips.

A Christian’s hope comes from God. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. Rom 4:18 There was no reason to hope because he was already about 100 years old, yet his faith didn’t grow weak. He continued to trust in God.

I can’t help but think of the people in the news last week. One had the hope of a tour in London. Another hoped to be healed from cancer. Two others, I imagine, hoped for a “few more years.”

We hope for tomorrow, yet ‘tomorrow’ is not promised.

Life is full of uncertainties, disappointments and sometimes broken dreams. As Christians, we can be confident in our hope in God. This hope is a certain guarantee about things that are unseen and still in the future. It’s hope that will be realized if we remain faithful to God. Rom 8:22-25 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

This same hope separates the Christian from the nonbeliever, who has no hope. Eph 2:12, 1 Thess 4:13

Consider the following from Nelson’s Bible Dictionary…Christian hope comes from God (Rom 15:13) and especially His calling (Eph 1:18; 4:4), His grace (2 Thess 2:16), His Word (Rom 15:4) and His gospel (Col 1:23). Hope is directed toward God (Acts 24:15; 1 Peter 1:21) and Christ (1 Thess 1:3; 1 Tim 1:1). Its appropriate objects are eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7), salvation (1 Thess 5:8), righteousness (Gal 5:5), the glory of God (Rom 5:2; Col 1:27), the appearing of Christ (Titus 2:13) and the resurrection from the dead (Acts 23:6; 26:6-7).

So dear readers, my hope is that we will all make our “calling and election” sure, in order that we will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Pet 1:10

 

5 comments for “Hope

  1. jel
    June 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Tank goodness for Hope! 🙂

    So true…how ya doing jel? Hope you are feeling better 🙂

  2. June 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Janice –

    I was amazed just now at reading your caption & post because the word “hope” and its deepest meanings for a Christian have been much on my mind of late. (Brilliant minds/same channels, thinking, etc!) So much so, that yesterday I copied a portion of “A Writer’s Almanac” from a few days ago about hope over to a draft to work on for Finding Direction.

    I had emailed that day’s “Almanac” (I think it was from June 15 with a portion about Erik Erikson) to Tom to read because it had several things in it that greatly touched me. I’ve been thinking a whole lot about hope the entire time I’ve been down & out with my pinched nerve and how sometimes we so neglect that aspect of our Christian walk.

    I’ve been thinking that no matter how satan tries to harm me physically through pain and suffering, he cannot touch me or affect my deep faith and hope. I’ve been praying that God would keep satan far from me in all I’ve been enduring.

    In fact, I talked at great length just last evening on the phone with my younger son Mark about my thinking on hope. I told him how I’d had a vivid dream the other night that some evil men were trying to kill me because of my religious beliefs, but that I had complete trust & peace in my heart – certain hope – that they could not take away from me, no matter what they did to me – even kill me.

    I told Mark that both in the dream and in “real” life I KNEW/KNOW I was (am) going to Heaven and that no one could touch that FACT within my soul. That is how strong MY hope and faith is in the Lord.

    Thanks for bringing us this post today. I love Emily Dickinson’s poetry and you’ve brought some good scripture and thoughts to go with it. Now I have those and your thoughts to add to my own present thinking on hope some more before I try to put them all together over at Finding Direction.

    HOPE you have had and are having a good Monday.

    Dee

    Hi Dee,
    It’s so funny; I had four or five things I was considering writing about this morning and hope was not even on the list. I was thumbing through some scriptures and hope just kept coming into my mind. I pray everyday, asking God to guide me in my writing. I rarely ever know what each days blog is going to bring until I sit down in front of my computer and just begin writing. I guess I was guided by the Spirit today.

    I’m so thankful when the topic I write on brings joy, peace, comfort or happiness to someone. I love being in the Word. Sometimes I get so many thoughts going through my mind I have to step back and sort them all out.

    I’m thankful it had meaning for you today. I have noticed that most of my writings are just what I need for the day too. God is good!

    We’ve had a busy day today. It’s been a good one though, accomplished some things I needed to do. How have you been feeling since you got back home?

    I will be looking forward to reading your thoughts on ‘hope.’

    Talk with you soon,
    Janice

  3. June 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Todays blog from Compassion Internaional was also about HOPE: http://blog.compassion.com/holding-hope/
    Just interesting that you both picked the same subject today. 🙂

    Terry,

    Look at some of the other comments, it seems a lot of us needed to thing about our “HOPE” today. Thanks for sharing that limk with me. I haven’t read the other one yet. I will check it out.

    I’m so glad you and Kealy had a good trip and are home safely and with a good report. 🙂

  4. June 29, 2009 at 10:27 am

    My father-in-law was a very respected preacher in North Alabama for many years. He taught that we could never know for sure if we’re saved, that we could only hope for salvation, based on his understanding of Romans 8:20-ff and his misunderstanding of the word “hope.” He saw it as a wish when the word means “a confident expectation.” I would bring up such verses as 1 John 5:13. Never convinced him otherwise because to have confident expectation of salvation, to him, was just too much like those denomination who feel “once saved, always saved.”

    Good thoughts this morning, Janice. Thanks for the reminder.

    Very good point Greg, and I love 1 John 5:13. We are not to live our lives in fear if we are living for God. I also like 1 Thess 4:13ff . It seems it’s very difficult for some to walk by faith and not by sight.

  5. June 29, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Janice, I use an NIV, and I recently came across Hebrews 11:1 again. While I prefer reading some passages in the old KJV, and the ‘hall of faith’ chapter is one of them, my ears perked up and I smiled a little broader when I read it this time in NIV. It says: :Now faith is being SURE of what we HOPE for and CERTAIN of what we don’t see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

    Thanks for reminding me of hope. I really needed the reminder today.

    Judy, you were probably raised on KJV as I was. When I quote from scripture I usually quote KJV as that is what I first learned. I mainly use NIV too, although I have several that I like to study with. It helps me to better understand what I’m reading.

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