Hope is a dangerous word. It isn’t uncommon these days to hear someone say that they “try not to get their hopes up so that they don’t get disappointed.” And that really is the risk: If we hope, we risk being let down. We know this from experience. We hoped before and the end result was hurt. Yet without hope, there is no joy. The old saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” and it is true for us. We are made to live in expectation.
In the New Testament, Paul makes a strong push for hope: “Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13: 1)
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 18: 21)
“Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” So there it is. It is true that many things we put our hopes in are frighteningly fragile. Many of these hopes will let us down. But there is a different kind of hope “that does not disappoint.” It is a hope in Jesus and in what He says to us. It is absolutely impossible that we would respond to what God says to us and not see Him be faithful to His words.
So as we step out into 2017, let’s go together to Jesus and ask Him to speak to us about our lives, about His heart and His will for us. Then we simply have to follow Him with our whole hearts, one moment after another. One day after another. All along the way, we can…no, we must…be expectant for what He will do as He brings about His promises in our lives. The joy that comes begins long before the actual day that we see His promise come true. It begins the moment we begin to live in true, Godly hope.