“Hope is the state which promotes the belief in a good outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. Despair is often regarded as the opposite of hope. Hope is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “look[ing] forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feel[ing] that something desired may happen”. Other definitions are “to cherish a desire with anticipation”; “to desire with expectation of obtainment”; or “to expect with confidence”.
Riding along, the other day, I stopped at a red light behind a car that had an interesting bumper sticker, it said “I feel so much better since I gave up hope!” Wow, I wondered, what had happened to them that they had such a dim view of life, or maybe they were just trying to be facetious, thumbing their nose at all of us who hang on by the skin of our teeth to hope!
When we think of having patience, we automatically think of old Job, who suffered so much loss, yet remained faithful to God and, in the end, regained all he had lost plus seven times more than he ever had! But, did Job know he had patience? Did he have it all the way through the book of his life? Read the next few verses, Job 7:1-6 “Human life is a struggle, isn’t it? It’s a life sentence to hard labor. Like field hands longing for quitting time and working stiffs with nothing to hope for but payday, I’m given a life that meanders and goes nowhere—months of aimlessness, nights of misery! I go to bed and think, ‘How long till I can get up?’ I toss and turn as the night drags on—and I’m fed up! I’m covered with maggots and scabs. My skin gets scaly and hard, and then oozes with pus. My days come and go swifter than the click of knitting needles, and then the yarn runs out—an unfinished life!” Does that sound like a man with any hope, at all? If you had asked him, while he was sitting on the outskirts of the city on the dung pile, if he had hope for the future, I think he might have spit on your face! “Do I look like someone that is doing well? Even my friends want to know what sin I have done to deserve the things that have come upon me, and my house,” he might have said. None of us have suffered the things he went through, although when something happens to YOU it seems so much bigger than when the same thing happens to someone else!
I heard someone explain why he didn’t want to ask a certain person for a date. He said, “As long as I don’t ask, I have hope that if I did they would say ‘yes’, but if I asked and got turned down, then I would be crushed! I am happy to hope.” I gave that some thought, Proverbs 13:12 Unrelenting disappointment (or hope deferred) leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. One definition of the word hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
During WWll there was a submarine that sank to the bottom of the ocean after being struck by ammunition. As the sailors were desperately trying to get in touch with a ship that could help, they got word that divers had found them and were trying to rescue them. As they waited, it is told that there was the tapping of Morse code from inside the ship “IS THERE ANY HOPE?”
Let me ask it of you, is there any hope? Hope for our nation, hope for the young men and women fighting on foreign shores for us, hope for the many homeless living under bridges and in alley ways, hope for those so steeped in debt that they are on the verge of losing their homes? Hope for someone stricken with a dread disease, hope for the fallen Christian, who after having known the truth turns his back on God? Are you tapping on the walls of your own prison asking, praying, and hoping for a good outcome?
We let ourselves get so swamped by worry that it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, then our physical body and mental capacities begin to fail us. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Proverbs 31:24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!
“Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice, making my heart in its sorrow rejoice!”