Hope is mentioned 151 times in the New King James version of the Bible, 170 in the CJB version, and an impressive 180 in the NIV!
That word and view is prominent in both the Old and New Testaments and can be found in stories, teachings, and promises throughout. This consistent use not only tells us that hope is essential, but that our hope comes from and should rest in God… because that is where the victory is found within the storms of life.
God is shaking the nations during this time of uncertainty. However, the message He wants us to hear is that there is hope, safety, and protection in Him!
Yet, the repetition of hope goes further than that, not merely in the use of it as a single word, but in statements and ideas. For instance, many verses in the Word which speak on hope say things like, “I hope in You,” “my hope is in You,” “hope in Him,” etc. It is not only a statement or lesson meant to teach all who read and hear the Word that we are to hope in God… it is prophetic. When we speak those words into the atmosphere, that we hope in God, we are putting a demand on our soul—our mind, will, and emotions. We are speaking and proclaiming life, and through the repetition, we are filling our hearts with the surety and truth of it.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”—Numbers 23:19
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It is SAFE to put your hope in Him:
Our carnal mind often struggles to accept the unconditional love of God, and indeed, even the limitless wonder of who He is. Yet, God’s love never runs out. God never changes. He has and can do anything, and His promises are guaranteed! This love and faithfulness is why God blessed us with the repetition of key points and ideas within His Word… so that through continual exposure, our soul might accept what our flesh resists.
One example is seen in Psalm 42:11 and Psalm 43:5. They are exactly the same. And because of this, God shows us that He is placing a special emphasis upon it, giving us a greater ability to understand what He is saying to us…
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” —Psalm 42:11 & 43:5
This Scripture reminds us that it is safe and wise to hope in God.
Job, while not mentioned within the book of Psalms, is a strong candidate for having felt and likely spoken words similar to these. Because, even as Job had moments of seeming hopelessness, he always returned to his hope in God, and as a result, his faith grew, his praise remained sincere, and God gave him redemption AND restoration for his faithfulness.
This is a reminder that, just as Job had to work to find hope in the Lord when everything was taken from Him, we—thankfully never facing all of Job’s trials—must learn how to maintain our faith, praise, and hope in God. No matter the storm or circumstances. Because hope can raise our faith and fix our eyes above the waves, onto the very face of Jesus.
“Faith is not a feeling,” but is hope?
“Faith is not a feeling.”
Many men of God, such as Curt Landry, have said that faith should not be rooted in emotion.
Yet, not only faith, but also our behavior toward God and those around us should not be based upon how we feel. Our feelings can change from one minute to the next. And while these are precious gifts from God, they are not as sound or sure as God Himself or His counsel through His Word…
Still, most of us would say that hope possesses a certain, if not always direct, connection with feelings…
For instance, Proverbs 13:12 speaks of hope being “the tree of life,” and how the lack of it “makes the heart sick.”
The heart is, in many ways, a part of the soul—mind, will, and emotions. So, if the heart is sick, our emotions can become compromised, and if our emotions become compromised, it can become difficult to see the love of God, His grace, or even His mercy. Further, the joy of the Lord can appear fleeting or unattainable when a portion of our soul is sick…
Yes, hope can remain even when we are saddened—which is why the connection between hope and feelings is not always direct—however, it is impossible to despair when hope is present.
Where there is hope, there is the ability, no matter how small, to see hope for the future, the new day. We understand that God provides and loves us no matter what, and with that understanding coming from hope—and faith—it is difficult to dwell in sadness.
Where there is hope, there is joy, no matter how hidden, or how deep our loss or pain might be. Yes, even when, as Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, we might be in “a time to weep,” hope and therefore faith and joy can reside.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
Hope is essentially a strikingly beautiful pathway, with high walls on either side…
As long as we do not grab a ladder and climb over the wall, or turn back to where we have been, all we can see is the future God has prepared waiting at the end of the path.
Hope causes any journey to be a time of joy.
Placing our hope in Him:
Out of all the Scripture passages on hope, Jeremiah 29:11-14 perhaps says it best, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations…”
The thoughts and plans of God are for our good. His promises are for our good. And since, “God is not a man, that He should lie…” (Numbers 23:19), there is nothing to fear. Nothing… not disappointment… not broken promises or broken hearts… Not anything.
God ALWAYS keeps His word. He is a promise and covenant keeper. He is a covenant keeping God. Therefore, EVERYTHING He has spoken can be ours in the proper season, for the proper call and timing. We may have to wait for the right season and be in alignment to receive them, but we have access to every promise and blessing found in God’s Word.
If we keep our eyes on God, entering into agreement with His Word, then we can live in hope. We can come to know the fulfillment of hope!
Therefore, let us follow after God, not just in word or deed, but in hope. Let us hope in Him, sharing that hope in turn. Let us receive the blessing of hope, of staying on the path God has laid before us, and share that blessing in turn. Let us give of the surplus God desires to pour out, and live in His love and joy, safe in the knowledge that our Father desires good for us.
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”—Luke 6:38