Hope: The Confident Expectation of God’s Goodness Revealed
Personal hope (the confident and optimistic expectation of seeing God’s goodness) is to be a major pursuit of our lives. There is hope for every person and every situation we encounter.
Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-5 (Also 1 Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 27:13; Philippians 1:6)
I believe hope is one of the most flavorful seasonings in the palate of the Christian life! How mundane it would be if there was not an element of anticipation for an expected gift, goal or result! I feel that one of the curses of our American affluence is that we have produced a generation who has every desire given to them immediately without anything to look for, long for, or anticipate. They are bored, futile, with no sense of accomplishment that comes from pursuing something and apprehending it. That same boredom and futility is seen in the church that lives only in the NOW. Think of an exuberant bride preparing for her wedding day or the child waiting expectantly for opening anticipated gifts on Christmas morning. That should be the spirit of a Christian every day.
Our culture today has actually changed the meaning of biblical hope. Most of us use it in the sense of an uncertain wish or desire– “I hope so!” But biblical hope means A CONFIDENT EXPECTATION AND ANTICIPATION OF SOMETHING THAT WILL HAPPEN, BUT HAS NOT YET OCCURRED. Faith is a confident response to something that has already occurred (e.g. We are saved, delivered, healed by faith on the basis of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross 2000 years ago… it is available and here right now!) Hope, however, has that same confidence in the nature and promises of God THAT HAS YET TO HAPPEN (e.g. the scriptures call the second coming of Christ “the blessed hope.” Also, the promise of heaven and the transformation of our mortal bodies into immortality are also expectations that are certain, but not yet fulfilled).
Hope is a progression of the faith process. As you walk with God and see His goodness through His word, observed blessings, answered prayer, and ongoing fellowship there develops in you trust and confidence in Him. You begin to really KNOW Him and His ways. You realize that if He tells you something, you can “take it to the bank”– it will happen! When our faith holds fast through difficulties (tribulations) our character deepens and we find a unique gem called hope results in us (Romans 5:3-4). Hope then can take any promise of God not yet manifested and not just hold on to it, but actually move toward its fulfillment.
Living an overcoming life in a fallen world demands this confidence– this hope! We must have the confidence that we are in process to become like Christ– no matter how many times we look in the mirror and see the “not yets” still in us (Philippians 1:6). In fact, we are probably under demonic bondage if we ever lose hope that we will overcome any issue in our life! We must be confident that, in time, we will overcome evil with good in this world (Romans 12:21). We must believe that in our trials there is a boundary of endurance that God will never let Satan trespass, and He has provided a divine way out of it– successfully (1 Corinthians 10:13). We must believe that redeeming this world, its cultures and people is a reality to come. That this gospel will be preached to every people group (Matthew 24:14) is an expectation of what a good God will do through us!
If you have a “go for it” mentality about life, then your hope is healthy. If you have a cynical “yeah, sure” attitude, ask God to restore your hope in the expectation to see His goodness right now (“in the land of the living”– Psalm 27:10), and not just later when you die. Hope will determine whether the tests we face will make us better or bitter. Cynicism, futility, lethargy, fear and doubt cannot exist where there is true hope.
- After reading the above, would you describe yourself more as “having hope” or “needing hope” today? Express you desire to the Father to develop more
confident hope today!
- Are there any issues in your life where you’ve lost hope? Will you change your mind about them and go to God with an expectation of His goodness manifest through them?
Declaration: As you pray today, make the following declaration…
I am confident that God finishes what He starts. He will complete the good work He has started in me and through me. I join my faith with God’s promises until I see the evidence of things I hope for, not only in my life but in the world I observe around me. I expect to see God’s goodness reveled to me today!