How many times have you hoped and felt disappointed? How many times were you discouraged to hope because nothing seems to be going your way? How many times have hope failed you? Have you given up all hope because you could not see the way? The Bible speaks of this, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12.
Hope is not hope if you see it coming. Hope is accompanied by trust and expectation of what we want to happen. When we hope for a better job, we expect to have a more stable career which could provide us with adequate financial support. When we hope for a family someday, we expect to have a good husband who could not only provide the financial aspect but also provides care and loving support. When we hope for a chance to travel, we hope to be able to go across continents and visit our favorite spots in the world. When we hope for our loved one to be cured from their sickness, we expect them to get better everyday. When we hope for our children to be better persons someday, we expect them to behave according to the right conduct and moral values that we teach them. But there are times where we meet disapppointment. The very hope we are so eager to come to fruition did not realize. Our loved one did not get well. Our most desired job or promotion was given to another. The family we have so desired is far from a happy one. The future we envisioned of touring beautiful places is far from reality. Where is hope in these times? Hope is crushed when the one thing we expect to happen did not happen. But this is hope itself. We do not know if such thing will happen or not, but hope drives us to believe that it can happen. Hope makes us wait for the very thing we are expecting. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” – Romans 8:25. Even if we do not see, we believe. When we hope even in darkness, we can trust God to make it happen. If God does not make it happen, we can trust Him in His great and steadfast love for us that He works for our good all the time (Romans 8:28). “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12. We are commanded to rejoice in our hope. The hope that we have in God is already a reason to rejoice. Even if God answers no to our hope, we have a sense of greater trust in Him, that His no is not a disappointment. Yes, God’s turning down of what we hope for is never a disappointment. We may not see it nor understand it, but it is a blessing! I remember the song by Babbie Mason which aptly describes how God’s people should continue trusting God even when His answer is a no. It says, “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart” (Trust His Heart by Babbie Mason).
We are blessed when we put our hope in God. “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” -Psalm 146:5. When we hope in God, we are called blessed. Why? Because that Psalms says God is the maker of the heavenrs and the earth. He rules in justice and helps the oppressed. He provides food for the needy and hungry. He sets prisoners free, heals the sick, helps the poor, and always brings justice. We can hope in Him in trust because He is all that. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32. As God’s people who have put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a glorious hope in Him. But we still may ask, then why did He not give me the house and family I have been praying for? Why did He not give me that dream job I have been longing for? Why did He not heal my father or my mother or my sick child? Because He is God. He is sovereign. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” – Isaiah 40:28. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9. Who are we to question his wisdom and love for us? He does it all and allows it all because He does not think like us. His understanding and wisdom are far beyond us. So yes, even if our hope does not turn out the way we wanted it to be, if we hope in God, His answer is always the right one. It is not a disappointment. Another song comes to mind with this very theme, “‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops. What if Your healing comes through tears. What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near. What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise” (Blessings by Laura Story).
The hope we have in Jesus is the one thing we should set our minds to. As believers, we have a lot of things that we hope for in this life. But there is one hope that we should never forget about. This is the hope we have in Jesus. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” – 1 Peter 1:3-4. We have a living hope in God. “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5. And this hope we have in God is not for disappointment or shame. What is this hope we have in God? The promises of God in His Word. His grace of eternal life to us and the resurrected life we expect in the Lord Jesus Christ. His rule of justice that all those who believe in Him will be with Him in His glory and all those who do not trust Him or fear His name will be cast out from His presence. These are the hope we have in Jesus. While we cannot see this now, by faith we have to stand in this hope and trust the Lord Jesus Christ. Fixing our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ fixes our eyes on things of heaven and not on things of earth. The life we live here on earth should be directed towards what God has reserved for us. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 3:20. Let us not lose sight of this. As Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20.