May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope (Romans 15:13 AMPC)
Over the last 38 years I’ve spent traveling and teaching God’s Word around the world, I’ve met many incredible people from nearly every walk of life. Some were doing great, seemingly on top of the world. Others confided in me that they were barely getting by, living day-to-day, trying to make ends meet. And many others were dealing with circumstances so difficult that, quite frankly, they felt defeated and overwhelmed by life.
We will all battle hopelessness at some point in our lives. And no matter who we are or what our situation, HOPE is one thing we all desperately need. The reason is, hope is powerful. Hope is more than a motivational thought or a fading daydream; hope is a nothing-is-impossible-with-God firestorm refusing to be quenched. It’s an awareness that God is actually expecting, looking and longing to show you His goodness. Hope is what stabilizes your frantic thoughts and emotions—it’s an awareness that there is no problem big enough to keep God from rescuing you.
These days, it’s easy to be worn down by hopelessness. People lose hope when they experience overwhelming loss, repeated failures, impossible situations, or are hurt by people they trust.
Like most of you, I understand what it’s like to feel hopeless. I spent 23 years of my life filled with pain, abuse, disappointment, unfaithfulness and one bad thing after another. Because of this, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I used to say, “If I don’t expect anything good to happen, I won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t.”
But when I got serious about my relationship with God and began studying His Word, I discovered real hope. I learned why hope is important, and how powerful hope can be.
Hope: The Happy and Confident Anticipation of GOOD
Hope is a positive expectation that something good is going to happen to you because of God’s great goodness.
Hope is not a wishy-washy, vague, wait-and-see attitude, but an action we must choose to take on purpose each day. Hope and faith go hand in hand. Hope also enables us to endure hardships and long waiting periods, and God uses these times to develop character and endurance in us.
Psalm 27:14 says, Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Hope dares us to believe You know what? Things might just work out after all. It’s the sometimes unexplainable, but always undeniable, feeling that today would be a bad day to give up.
Isaiah 40:31 AMPC tells us: But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Hope in God is POWERFUL
Regardless of who you are or what condition your life is in, you can’t function successfully without hope in God. If circumstances are bad, you surely need hope, and if they are good, you need hope that they will stay that way.
Hope energizes and motivates us to take action by causing us to step out in faith and act in obedience with God’s Word. Hope believes boldly, decides daringly, speaks firmly and perseveres passionately.
When we embrace hope on purpose, it influences our thoughts, our attitudes, our outlook and the way we speak. Hope builds us up as we wait on God. It releases joy, and the joy of the Lord becomes our source of strength (see Nehemiah 8:10 AMPC).
Hope is exciting because you have a part to play. You don’t have to sit back, just waiting for an answer to fall from the sky. You can take your hopes to God, ask Him for His wisdom, and then take real and practical steps toward your goal.
Living a Hopeful Life
If you want to live a life full of hope, the best thing you can do is turn the leadership role over to God. When you say “Lord, I choose to follow Your lead, I believe Your plan is infinitely better than my plan could ever be,” it’s a lot like a “trust fall,” when you’re trusting someone will catch you. But there is a major difference: God does more than just catch you. God catches you and then takes you higher than you were before.
So plan your future and work diligently to succeed at the tasks in front of you, but do those things after you have spent time with God asking for His guidance and direction. Let Him be the leader, and decide to follow Him wholeheartedly, trusting that He has a great plan and He is working that plan to perfection.
Ask yourself the question: Am I following God or am I asking God to follow me?
Overcoming the Impossible
Never assume that where you’ve been or where you are is as good as it gets. And when your goal or your situation seems impossible, keep in mind that nothing is impossible for God.
In Matthew 19:26 AMPC, Jesus said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.
It doesn’t matter what the situation looks like around you; God is greater than any obstacle you may be facing. Everything that has never been done is impossible until someone does it, so why can’t it be you? Don’t allow your mind to become a hindrance to the things you can accomplish in life. Think big—the way God does!
Choose to believe God is going to do something better in your life. Go ahead and get your hopes up…God is leading you to something better than you can imagine!