Share Hope – it’s a Weapon!
This is something I wrote awhile ago and tweaked it last week as I thought about this current crisis. Keep your hope in the battle.
President Trump said that we are at war with this pandemic. Since we are at war, I am reminded once again that, in addition to hand washing and human separation, hope is a powerful weapon. Hope is a word that can be used over and over and not used enough. It can mean anything like ‘I hope you can avoid this virus’ to ‘I hope you can find toilet paper’. Similarly, the word love in English does the same thing. It can mean that you love ice cream or the beach to I love my family. Just as the Bible says that God is love (I John 4:7,8) it says that Christ is our hope (Col.1:28). While the regular use of the word hope includes uncertainty, biblical hope does not convey doubt at all (as in I hope so), rather it means confidence, security, assurance. (There is never a “so” after the word hope in the Bible.)
Biblical hope desires something good in the future BUT it expects it to happen! And even more, it is confident that it will be a reality! Hope is more than just logical or mathematical certainty, it also includes an assurance based on the character and will of the person. There is a certainty that comes from knowing about a person; because I am certain in God and his character and will, I can sleep at night. I can make it through rough times. I can say, “Hope in God and expect great things” and I do not have to add, “cross your fingers or don’t hold your breath!” When hope is founded on the Rock there is no doubt! In Hebrews 11:18 it says that Abraham, against all hope, became the father of many nations. I think that is because it was humanly impossible and yet hope looks away from man to the promises of God. Paul tells us that Abe’s hopeful faith was reckoned as righteousness.
So, how is hope a weapon? Studies show that hope can be transformed into biochemistry. Attitude can directly be linked to how hopeful we are. In fact our attitude can lead to a perspective on life that is either optimistic or pessimistic and that can also affect our health. Hoping in God does not come naturally, but the Bible says in Hebrews 11, the great chapter of faith, which begins with hope, “now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” This carries the idea that all the actions of the heroes of the Bible were made possible because God honored their faith based on hope; all the confidence that comes from knowing for sure, without question, what we have been promised in God’s word as we lean into Him! Accepting the gift of eternal life means that hope is based on the entirety of God’s Word, the entirety of God’s character and the finished work of Christ. We can live with endless hope, while those who don’t know what we know live thinking that life has a hopeless end. It all boils down to this – hope is the full assurance of faith! It is the part of faith that focuses on the future or faith in the future tense!
So hope sharpens resolve. It pushes back doubt and despair. It attacks grief and self-pity. Hope increases victory by never failing, giving up, losing, or retreating. Hope increases as we are grateful, through the Word, declaring and worshipping, remembering and leaning in.
Often we have to wait for something we want. If we purchase something online we have to wait for delivery. If we are going on a trip we have to wait with anticipation. Hope is the same way. If we have something we don’t have to hope for it. But if we don’t have it we have to wait patiently. Billy Graham said, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.” It is the same thing with this war against COVID-19! We wait with hope that we will win the war as we lean in to the One in whom we hope.
Everyday, in the midst of chaos, new routines, upheaval and uncertainty, we cling to hope. One of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption, is: “Never Forget. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies”.
Emily Dickinson, a favorite poet, wrote:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,…
Someone once said that a person can live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 minutes without air, but only 3 seconds without hope. (Perhaps 3 hours without a computer/phone – or is that pushing it!?) Biblical hope as opposed to optimism or wishful thinking is an amazing thing because it is certainty, a confident expectation, rooted in promise and a trustworthy God! So, we are full of hope and we are ready to give an account to anyone who asks of the hope that lies within us. We are singing about the best of things: HOPE!
We long to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Rom 12:12). Amen.
Hope in God is a shield in life. It is a defensive weapon and protects us. (Ps. 33:20)
As we remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness, hope grows and we are able to quiet a downcast spirit. (Ps. 33:18-22)
As believers we are called to give answers based on the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15) Hope is unending (Ps. 131:3)
Hope is to be fixed on Grace (1 peter 1:13-16)
Hope is built through trials. It is made stronger as we persevere. (Romans 5:3-5) (James 1:2)
Hope defeats discouragement. It is like a reservoir of emotional strength. It doesn’t disappoint (Romans 5:3-5) (Ps. 42:11)
Hope gives strength to repay evil with good. It acts as a shield against self pity.
Hope gives a second wind to keep going and not give up.
When I am tempted it is hope that helps me hold fast to the way of righteousness.
Hope is like a tank that needs to be filled daily. Ps. 71:14. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. Praise and a thankful heart keeps the reservoir overflowing with joy!
Rom. 12:12 – Be joyful in hope!
As we rest in him without worrying about tomorrow since it is already taken care of by God Ps. 62:5. We can be secure because of hope (Job 11:18)