Hope While You Cope
I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately.
Correction: The world seems particularly discouraging these days, so I have been making myself think about hope lately.
Perhaps you can relate.
It was bad enough that the news headlines were dominated by pandemic panic, racial injustices, and an economic doomsday, but when my Instagram feed took the same turn, I felt my emotional equilibrium shift in a decidedly negative direction. A heaviness began to settle over me. It felt like I was wearing sunglasses inside the house – the world felt darker and everything seemed muddled by shadow. My inner Eeyore would lament, “Why bother? Everything is horrible…”
I had forgotten about hope.
You may have noticed that the word ‘hope’ is used in a lot of different contexts, so the Biblical concept can get a little fuzzy. We say, “I hope ice cream is on sale this week” or “I hope these pants still fit,” and when we say that we are expressing a certain degree of uncertainty coupled with our own desires. I am not certain if these pants will fit, but I desire that they will. (Obviously this is a completely random example that has absolutely nothing to do with my personal life. Ahem.)
But the Biblical idea of hope is different. It screams certainty.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Heb. 6:19).
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).
“We continually remember…your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thess. 1:3).
In the Bible, hope is basically faith in the future tense. It is faith that has been applied to the unknown. It is not uncertain; it is firm and secure. It is not a result that we are simply desiring, but one that we are convinced of and we hold to unswervingly. Biblical hope fuels endurance because Biblical hope is rooted in faith.
I am not certain how this coronavirus thing is going to play out. I don’t know how our country will get to the other side of racial tensions or the current economic situation. I have zero certainty about those solutions. But I do know who holds the future. I know that my Redeemer lives! I know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39) and that He knows what He is doing (Is. 55:8-11). I know that I can put my hope in God because He is sovereign and He is good and He holds eternity in His hands.
My hope anchors my soul because my hope is in God alone. I can endure the uncertainty of this season because I am convinced of the certainty of God’s faithfulness through eternity (Eph. 1:11-14).
Reminding myself of this hope helps me cope. I thought you might need the reminder as well.
One day at a time,