“Don’t get your hopes up.” I’ve heard it and said it hundreds of times. In fact, in an effort to prevent disappointment, this has been part of my inner dialogue since childhood.
Right now, I am excited by some of the possibilities on my horizon. But as swiftly as any of those thoughts enter my mind they are immediately rebuffed with ‘don’t get too excited, it probably won’t happen…..’ You know the rest of that story. Is it any surprise that in my early teen years I was so generously bestowed the nickname ‘Eeyore’?
Even as I look around at the world today I find it easy to despair. And I don’t think I’m the only one. We see evil, corruption, murder, lies, immorality, wars, sickness, poverty, hatred. We see it in our own homes. We see it in our communities. We see it in the numberless hopeless headlines on our news feed.
It all makes me lose hope sometimes. I begin to assume that no matter the scale, big or small, nothing will turn out well. It makes sense to guard myself against disappointment by just assuming the worst. By not getting my hopes up.
But I have been so wrong.
I see now how my efforts to temper earthly hope have unfortunately had the same effects on my heavenly hope.
That has resulted in a life that is lacking: lacking joy, lacking happiness, lacking love, lacking peace. Oh, I have these things on occasion, but not as steadfastly as I know my Heavenly Father desires.
Hope should be an earnest and driving force in a believer’s life. It should be clearly evident to those around us. It should be one of our distinguishing characteristics. The world should marvel at the hope we have, and want it too!
1 Peter 3:15 calls us to a great endeavor. An endeavor that requires hope and preparation.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.”
This verse is convicting because it requires more that just telling the world about Jesus. It requires that we first manifest an undeniable hope.
In order to begin to live daily with such a noticeable hope we have to go back to the beginning. Why do we have hope?
We have hope because God has made us promises. We can hold fast to our hope because “He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
The God who promised He would never leave us or forsake us is faithful.
The God who is preparing a place for us is faithful.
The God who promises that we will one day be like Him is faithful.
The God whose glory will one day be revealed to all is faithful.
The God who will wipe every tear from our eyes and heal all wounds is faithful.
His promises are sure. They are so unshakably certain that the word hope seems inadequate to describe the trust we can have in them. What He has promised will be. God is not a liar.
So, how will the unbelieving world recognize hope in us? Scripture is full of answers to that question, but here are a few to get you thinking.
A hope filled life is:
Rejoicing (Romans 12:12)
Persevering (Romans 5:4-5)
Eagerly waiting (Romans 8:25)
Unwavering (Hebrews 10:23)
Prepared and sober (1 Peter 1:13)
Pure (1 John 3:3)
(Take time to look up these passages – you won’t regret it!)
This is what the unbelieving world should recognize as remarkable about us – so much that they want what we’ve got.
That’s why we need to get our hopes up! That’s why we need to get excited about the certainty of what we hope for! Earthly hopes will disappoint, but we don’t need to despair because our heavenly hope is guaranteed.
And you know what? I’m gonna shake off Eeyore and let myself get a little more excited about the little things too. Because even if they do disappoint, I still have a secure hope that will beautifully unveil itself in the end.
I would love to hear what you think about this topic! Do you have a favorite passage of Scripture that reminds you of the hope you have in Christ? Do you ever feel convicted, like me, of not manifesting the hope you have in Him for the world to see? Can you think of anyone you have observed who has shown undeniable hope in God, even in the midst of difficulties?