Hope is Waiting, Confidently
by Pastor Gene
The Hebrew and Greek words that underlie the English word hope in our Bibles combine two important ideas: waiting and confidence. Biblical hope, as has been said many times, is more than a wish for how things could be. Biblical hope is an absolute confidence that things really are the way God says they are.
Hope is confidence that nothing that happens on the world stage or in our own little world had escaped His sovereign care. It’s confidence that if God has allowed a certain trial into our lives, He has a reason for doing so.
God is not cavalier about the suffering of His children. Not a hair falls from our head without His knowing it and He hears our prayers.
Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11). In our own strength we’re weak, but He is so strong! And we tap into His strength when we hope, when we wait upon Him with confidence.
Isaiah put it this way, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
These are very famous words, committed to memory by many Sunday School children. But look at the words carefully. What are the promises here? I count four: (1) they “will renew their strength”; (2) they will “soar on wings like eagles”; (3) “they will run and not grow weary; and “they will walk and not be faint.” Four promises, right?
Now look at the verse again. What is the only qualification the prophet gives for receiving these promises? Right! That we hope – that we wait with confidence and assurance, fully expecting that our good Father will do all He has promised to do.
- Do you feel spiritually weak or spiritually strong? Do you feel like you’re able to “soar” above your troubles? Do you feel spiritually weary and exhausted? According to Isaiah 40:31, why might that be?
- This verse paints the picture of believers drawing strength from an invisible source, drawing from God’s own power because we trust in Him. Is this your regular experience? What might you do to change that?
- It’s our natural inclination when we face a problem to do everything we can to solve it in our own strength. But, Paul wrote, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). What do you think this means? What should it mean in your life?
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