In the midst of all the craziness, if you were to ask me to use one word that would best describe the overall frame of mind of the people I come in contact with, it would be hopelessness.
Just recently three people told me how they have been fighting hopelessness in their lives. Two because of ongoing health challenges and one with ongoing family challenge. Hopelessness is very real, especially during the end of the year.
What is real hope?
There are 3 kinds of hope.
#1 Wishful Hope
Wishful hope is what most people believe when the say they are hoping.
For example, you are late for a meeting and you say I hope that light turns green, that’s just wishful thinking. Nothing that you hope for like that is ever going to change anything. It will turn green when the timer tells it to turn green. Wishful hope is really useless, false hope.
Your friend says,“I just bought a lottery ticket, I hope I win.”
We all know the crazy odds that are against that from happening. Some say it’s fun to try, but that’s not the kind of hope that you can build a life on and it is a waste of money.
Then there is the 2nd kind of hope...
#2 Expectant Hope
This hope is much stronger and is actually Biblical.
I’m a big fan of expectant hope. I believe God blesses expectant people.
Oral Roberts taught me to say regularly, “I expect a miracle I expect a new one everyday!”
Hope says, “I planted some tomato seeds and I’m hoping for a big harvest!”
There is a reason I have an expectation of a harvest, because I planted some tomato seeds. I actually did something. That’s not wishful thinking.
But even though you did something and you planted tomato seeds, something could go wrong. The weather may not cooperate. You go away and your neighbor forgets to water your plants. Or some kind of insects attacks your plants. So even though you did something and have an expectation based on what you did, sometimes our expectations fall short.
The Bible talks about a 3rd hope. This is the kind of hope you can build a life on. It’s called...
#3 Certain Hope
This hope is not based on feelings or a mood. Not on optimism or even expectation alone, but on knowing for certain.
I love this verse!
The certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Hebrews 6:19 (LB)
In certain hope there is no doubt, no reservation, no hesitation, no “what if.” You can count on it. This is the kind of hope God wants you to build your life on.
It’s it’s been said you can go weeks without food.
You can go days without water.
You can go minutes without air, but
You can’t go five seconds without hope.
You’ve got to have hope to live. Without hope, you die.
I like that the Bible describes hope as an anchor to your soul. The stronger your hope, the stronger your anchor.
The anchor to your soul is not money, it’s not power, it’s not control...it’s hope.
There are two purposes to an anchor.
#1 It keeps the ship from drifting.
Every anchor has a chain attached to it, and when that anchor is in use, it stops the boat from drifting.
Without that anchor, the boat can drift into unsafe water. Water that is too shallow where the boat can get stuck or worse, crash into rocks and damage or pierce the hull. When that happens, the boat takes on water causing the ship to capsize or sink. It usually causes a loss of valuable cargo and or loss of life.
It’s easy to drift. We’ve all done it.
It’s easy to drift away from God.
It’s easy to drift away from your church family.
It’s easy to drift away from your dreams.
It’s easy to drift away from the person you love.
It’s easy to drift away from your close friends.
We are constantly drifting if we are not anchored.
#2 It gives the ship stability in a storm.
The truth is when we are in a storm, we often look everywhere else besides the source of all hope. We look to other people, events, anything that will deaden the pain. All of which do nothing to address the root cause of hopelessness.
How do we go from wishful hope, to expectant hope to certain hope? Hope that is strong, firm and stable? Hope that is dependable, the kind you can bet your life on it? Here’s what I’ve learned.
Certain hope is not based on my wish list, but rather on God’s obligation to do what He said He would do.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)
I can tell you from a lifetime of personal experience, in our family, of how this certain hope has divinely intervened on our behalf during overwhelming seasons.
He revived our marriage. He gave us children when specialists told us we couldn’t have them.
He preserved Verna’s life when she faced a near death experience.
He took two imperfect little Italians and put a big dream in our hearts that is literally impacting the world. He wants to do the same for you.
Our “certain hope” believed that Jeremiah 29:11 was true...
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
Verna and I are praying for you and your family during this holiday season.
Don’t let go of the promises God has spoken to you from His Word. We are standing with you and believe you’re best days are right in front of you. Let hope be the anchor of your soul.