(If you missed Part 1, read it here)

In big, bold black cursive letters, HOPE lay diagonally across my thigh a few inches above my knee. A single pink peony lay above and behind the H. My mission this year has been to grasp for hope in all things and in all circumstances—to change my perspective in the everyday life. Hope not in earthly things but in the eternal, in Christ Jesus and His promises.

Hope during …
…tantrums in Target
…broken down cars 
…job loss—Multiple times

Webster’s Dictionary defines hope as “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.” In everyday language, we tend to make hope synonymous with optimism. We often think: I hope I get a big tax return this year; the interview went really well, I hope I get the job; or I hope we get pregnant soon. We desire what we view as a positive outcome to result from the unknown. We express hope with excitement, anticipation, and sometimes nervousness. Hope and optimism are healthy mindsets to have, but this kind of hope is not the same as Biblical hope. Rather, Biblical hope is much larger and deeper than any optimism we could imagine.

Biblical hope is much bigger than just hoping for what we desire to happen. When we have Biblical hope, our thinking is backwards to optimistic hope in that we must submit the unknown to the hope in Christ Jesus. My pastor, Jim Thompson, says, “Biblical Hope is future guarantee that hinges on God’s promises.” We must relinquish our desires to the will and promises of God. Hope should change how we live our daily, present lives.  The Bible Project animation studio explains the difference between Biblical hope and optimism in their video “Hope”:

Biblical hope is based on a person, which makes it different than optimism. Optimism is about choosing to see in any situation how circumstances could work out for the best, but Biblical hope is not focused on circumstances. In fact, hopeful people in the Bible often recognize there is no evidence things will get better but you choose hope anyway.

Hope is not a feeling here. Hope is an action—a choice. We choose to hope in the Lord and His eternal promises no matter what the outcome. In the end, the Lord is still King and He is a loving, sovereign Father.  We can’t see the whole picture but He can. As children trust their earthly father will catch them when they fall, we need to build trust that our heavenly Father will do just the same. He knows our future, and He has us in the palm of His hand. Sometimes when all is dark around us, the only hope we have is in God Himself (Isaiah 8:17). Even when our father dies from cancer, we don’t know how we’ll pay the bills, and we may never have another child, still we fight for hope in the Lord.
  • What desires do we need to relinquish to the will of God?
  • How could a Biblical-Hope perspective change our daily lives?
Continue to Part 3