HOPE – It’s a word we carelessly say in our every day communication without a second thought. “I hope that works out for you.” “I hope you have a great day!” “I hope my prognosis is good.” “I hope……”
I recently heard Tenth Avenue North’s new song, I Have This Hope, and it resonated with me so much that I felt compelled to send it to a friend who had been on my mind for days. She confirmed that my timing was perfect because she was struggling with so many life issues regarding family and career and loneliness and isolation. She said, “thank you for the text, for the song, and for listening to the Holy Spirit. You reminded me that I am not alone.”
The funny (or perhaps divine) irony of this story is that when I first heard the song, I thought the lyric was saying, “I have resolved in the depth of my soul….” However, the chorus lyrics are as follow:
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
Definition and Characteristics
Hope is an interesting word. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary states hope is to desire with expectation of or belief in obtainment or fulfillment. There is a trust – a reliance – an anticipation attached to the desire or expectation.
In the Bible, the Greek and Hebrew terms used for hope also indicate certainty, “a strong and confidant expectation.” Bible.Org has an excellent article on the subject, and while I’m going to summarize it below, I encourage you to read the entire article when you have some time. There are several characteristics of hope to consider.
- Hope is dynamic, active, directive, and life sustaining
- Hope has results
- Changes how we see ourselves
- Changes what we value
- Affects what we do in life regarding our talents, time, and treasures
- Hope has rewards and blessings
- Gives us joy and peace
- Gives us protection
- Gives us strength, courage, and boldness
- Gives us endurance, comfort, and confidence in the face of death
- Give us confidence in ministry
- Hope, if placed in anything other than the Lord, will leave us ashamed, frustrated, disappointed, and in ruin
- God is the source of all real hope – he is called “the God of Hope”
- If you are without Christ, you are without God, and without hope. Hope depends on:
- Knowing the Word of God
- Knowing and resting in God’s grace
- A Spirit-filled life
So, was I “wrong” when I heard “I have resolved” instead of “I have this hope” in Tenth Avenue North’s song? I think the two go hand in hand. As a Christian, it is important for us to resolve in the depths of our soul that we have a “dynamic, active, directive, and life sustaining” hope that God Himself promises us we can hold onto for the rest of our earthly days as well as look forward to when we pass from this earth to be in eternity with Him as our Savior.
If you find yourself never having resolved the issue of what you believe, if God exists, if He loves you, and all the myriad of questions you may have regarding spiritual matters, I pray you will reach out to me or find someone you know who is the real deal with a relationship with Christ. Better yet, start praying and ask God to reveal Himself. He promises that anyone who seeks Him with their whole heart WILL find Him. Visit James McDonald’s website for more information on finding and knowing God.