Hope is very powerful thing. A blessed, anticipated result at a future time can carry one over some very rocky and dangerous roads. I heard of a brother in Christ who was very close to death, but just the cleaar picture he had in his mind of him walking out of the hospital, accompanied by his wife, enabled him to persevere when medical “hope” was slim.
What is hope? And why is it so powerful? Biblical hope is more than just a “possible” expectation. It is a resolved and settled attitude concerning the blessing of God at a future time, whether it be near or far away. In a different context than that of hope, Habakkuk writes clearly of similarities concerning the dynamics of true hope: “The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Hab. 2:3) Though Habakkuk is speaking of an event of judgement, there are similar principles revealed as they apply to true hope.
First of all, there is a vision. There is the revealed will of God as it pertains to true blessing. Secondly, there is a time frame…a present declaration, but a future realization promised. Then there is the command to “wait for it.” This is the attitude of expectation. There remains the promise of its realization, as to its coming, but also with regard to the certainty of its coming….”… it will SURELY come; it will NOT tarry.”
When the Apostle Paul penned the phrase, “…And hope maketh not ashamed,”…he tied it to the love of God…”Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5) This love of God is the expression of a covenant, the seal of God upon the life, the presence of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, all that pertains to the issue of “hope,” that certain expectation based on the purpose and will of God, is confirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life, and the expression of His presence, the love of God. He goes on to speak of God commending to all men everywhere that He loves us. He speaks of justification, reconciliation, the atonement…the free gift of God in Christ. And if that were not enough, he declares, “…MUCH MORE,” they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, SHALL REIGN in life by one, Jesus Christ.” (v. 17)
Hope clings to Christ, and His work so complete and sufficient. It is a hope that lives in the expectation of the blessing of God TODAY, as well as that which shall appear at His coming, or at the moment when we shall go to be with Him. This HOPE, certain expectation, lives upon the Living Word, and looks beyond the present time to His intervention in all things future. The “blessed hope” is the resolved expectation in a Person, the Lord Jesus, to meet us today, and in every day to come. There is absolutely NO shame in that. The prayer of the Psalmist was: “O Lord…let none that wait on Thee be ashamed…let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in Thee.” (Ps. 25:1,3,20)
So, today, let us live in the expectancy of His blessing, guidance, provision, keeping…and much more. And let us look down the corridor of time to future blessing beyond our capacity to grasp it fully, because, “…the love of God IS shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.”