A few days ago, I was talking with a friend about this series, and she said something I didn’t expect to hear.
"I think hope is an emotion, at least partly, and I can say I don't remember feeling it... just once in the past few years.”
My initial reaction was to feel sadness for my friend. Had she really only felt hope once in a few years? My heart hurt for her. But her statement really got me thinking. Is hope truly just an emotion? Or is it something more?
Consider the many uses of the word “hope” in the Psalms, undoubtedly one of the Bible’s most emotional books. Here are just a few references to hope as an action, something more than just a feeling:
“No one who ever hopes in you will be put to shame.” Psalm 25:4
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24
“May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:22
“Hope in the LORD and keep his way.” Psalm 37:34
These passages seem to suggest action on our part rather than a passive feeling based on circumstances. Put your hope in God.
Sometimes it may be a hard choice. When things just don’t seem to make sense, we have to make a conscious decision to hope, to trust, to praise. The “feeling” of hope may come later: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
Obviously, the psalmist was not feeling hopeful when he wrote this psalm, but his “self-talk” was correct. He knew that if he put his hope in God, he would once again praise Him – someday.
This hope is for all times in our lives. It’s a hope for the “good” days as well as the bad; it’s a daily walk, a dependence on God as our ONLY hope in this fallen world.
This hope changes everything.
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