By Jana Kennedy-Spicer, Contributing Writer
What is hope?
Is it a wishy washy maybe or a kind of unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.”
But for Christians, hope is so much more than a wish.
Hope is … confident expectation.
Hope is … sure certainty.
Hope is … knowing that what God has promised in the Word is true, has occurred, and or will in accordance with God’s sure Word.
As we continue in our study “Hope Is”, today we also learn that hope is … received. It is a gift from God.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:5-8 ESV
“In the book of Psalms, David teaches us that hope isn’t something we can manufacture on our own. God is the Giver of hope. Paul, a leader in the early Church, wrote to the people of Ephesus, “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Because Jesus gives us salvation, we receive hope from Him. When we give our life to God, He places hope in our heart.” 1
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,
comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 ESV
In the book of Hebrews, we are taught something else about the specific hope we receive only from God.
Hope is … strong.
Hope is … trustworthy.
Hope is … an anchor.
Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can
have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”
Hebrews 6:19 NIV
We’re all familiar with the practical purpose of an anchor: a heavy device that is attached to a boat or ship by a rope or chain and that is thrown into the water to hold the boat or ship in place.
Oh what a wonderful gift God has given us in hope!
A strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, to hold us firmly in place even in the midst of life’s storms.
And we will face storms, friends. I’ve often heard it spoken that at any given moment each of us are in one of three circumstances:
- Coming out of a storm,
- In the midst of a storm, or
- About to enter into a storm.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 ESV
I have faced many storms myself, and am confident that my anchor, God, held strong for me – and – will hold strong again for the next storm.
I pray that you too have this confidence.
I pray that as you read these scriptures today that you find reassurance for the storm you may find yourself in right now. And that you will know with sure certainty and confident expectation that the gift of hope received from God your Father is strong and trustworthy!
I will leave you with the reassuring words of this song written by Ray Boltz, The Anchor Holds.
I have journeyed through the long dark night,
Out on the open sea, by faith alone,
Sight unknown; and yet his eyes were watching me.
I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams;
I’ve even held them in my hand.
But I never knew they would slip right through,
Like they were only grains of sand.
I have been young but I’m older now.
And there has been beauty these eyes have seen.
But it was in the night, through the storms of my life,
Oh, that’s where God proved His love for me.
The anchor holds,
Though the ships been battered.
The anchor holds,
Though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas.
The anchor holds in spite of the storm.
1 Quoted from “Hope Is” by Newspring Church
Thank you to Jana Kennedy-Spicer for contributing this article to the #RealHope series
Jana writes for her blog, Sweet to the Soul
This article is part of the #RealHope blog series and Hope Is Holiday Devotional Study.
For information regarding our current and future studies, visit our Bible study page.