It is quite amazing to me to consider how much of our human existence is based upon hope and, with hope, comes expectation. I have come to hope for things to happen or occur, or I have placed my hope in something or someone, to the point that I expect certain things to take place. For example, even though as I write this there is still a lot of snow on the ground, time and experience has shown me that I can hope for spring. I can hope for the changing of the seasons for the new beginnings that spring ushers in. I can also place my hope in some things that other people cannot, and I can almost take them for granted. I can place my hope in the expectation that I know when my next meal is going to take place, that a light will turn on when I flip the switch, that I will wake up the next morning and start a new, full day. Hope coupled with expectation is a powerful thing and both time and experience reinforce those things we can hope for and expect without a hesitation or a doubt.
When it comes to hope, it tends to come quite naturally to us as human beings and maybe a little too easily. We can always pinpoint situations in our life where we have felt hopeless, but how much of that first stems from a false sense of hope? I think this is where you and I can have a real issue with hope. As you look at your life, what is it that you place your hope in? Many people place their hope in their job, their reputation, their bank account, their retirement plan, their house, and their possessions, just to name a few. But it doesn’t just stop at things. For some, it is placing their hope in other people like family, friends, spouse, or children. While each of these examples in and of themselves can be very good and uplifting things, they all have the potential to let us down and fall short of everything we may have hoped for in them. That can be a hard reality to face and it can lead to some devastating hurt and disappointment when we place an unfair amount of hope on those things and people that we hold close.
Thankfully, we serve a God who has given us a sure foundation to place our hope. While we have a myriad of other options to place our hope in, only one has been proven to stand time and time again. Everything and everyone else just simply falls short of the guarantee that this Hope offers. King David writes in Psalm 20 about this very truth when he says,
“6 Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his
heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots
and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They are brought
to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.”
Chariots and horses, while impressive and formidable, don’t hold a candle to the trustworthiness that we can have in Christ. A nice paycheck and a great group of friends cannot compare to the assurance we can have through placing our hope in God. I need that lesson and that reminder shown to me again and again. I am thankful that I serve a God who is faithful to who He is and what He says and that I can count on Him for all of my days in both times of hopelessness and when times are good.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette