by Lorilee Mundfrom
What does the word “hope” say to you? I’ve come to love that word, “hope”. To me, one who has hope has confidence. A person who is hopeful cannot help but be positive in their outlook.
I have a goal of doing a Scripture word study on the word “hope”. Do you know how many times the word hope is used in the Word of God? On the BibleGateway.com website, I put in a search for the number of times the word hope occurs in the New International Version of the Bible, and it gave me 174 times. 18 of those occurrences were in the book of Job and 31 of those were in the book of Psalms. The “weeping prophet” Jeremiah used the word hope 14 times in Jeremiah and Lamentations (certainly some, but surely not all, of those were references to when he had lost hope or the Israelites had lost hope).
Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Lamentations 3:21-22 says, Yet this I call to mind and therefore I havehope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
Psalms 42: 5, 42:11, and 43:5 all say the same thing: Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
I have struggled on and off with feelings of “hopelessness” in my life. Sometimes these feelings come because of physical difficulties. Sometimes they come because of being emotionally drained. But when I go to the Word of God and find Scriptures like the ones quoted above, I cannot help but find comfort and peace in the Lord because He is my Hope and my Comfort. He is my Peace and my Salvation. He is faithful to His word and He is the One I can praise. As I praise Him I find Hope!
Some time ago I was listening to a radio broadcast on my way to work. The program was about a man who had been a minister of the Word for many years. When he was age 47 he went through a very difficult time of depression in his life. He had such a hard time continuing on with his ministry. But he did because he knew God had called him. He stated the times before going to church on Sunday morning were probably the darkest times for him. It was most difficult for him to get the courage to go. But he did and he found that as he gathered with other believers and worshipped the Lord, and shared the Word of God with them, he was most encouraged and found great hope! It took time for him to come out of these difficult days, but eventually he realized that when he focused his thoughts on God and the Hope that he had in Him, he was able to get through each day stronger and more hopeful than the day before.
HOPE – what does that word mean to you? To me it is a confidence that I can have, even when days are hard, that God is with me and He will get me through even the most difficult times. We don’t know what the future holds for any of us. But we do have HOPE because we know our future is in His hands!
HOPE – I know Heaven is in my future! When my work on this earth is done, however long or short that time may be, I have HOPE (confidence) of going to Heaven, being reunited with loved ones who have gone on before, and seeing Jesus face to face. This has nothing to do with me – it is all to do with what Jesus has done for me. What a glorious time that will be!