What is hope to a believer?

As a child, I recall sitting in church during mass and listening to the priest speak about hope. It was almost as though every Sunday mass had the word “hope” in it. I was a child, so I didn’t really bother to know much about it and why it was repeated so often in church. Even our elders always said, “never give up hope”. It sounded like words to use to console the broken-hearted or downtrodden. I began to associate hope with hard times and people suffering because that was all I could fathom as a child.

Now I am starting to realize that “hope” is not just a word; it has become the essence of our being, a gift planted in our hearts to uplift the spirit within us. Sure enough, it is still used to comfort people in difficult times but it has become much more than that for me.

Romans 5:2-5 says “Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Hope truly is very important in the life of a believer. It is the culmination of everything that a Christian strives to become. I find that every trial I have been through has brought me closer to knowing and truly believing that all I am and will ever be is in Christ.

I wanted to know why it was easy for the apostles in the book of Acts to say “no” to the world, to give it all up, and smile even when faced with death. Hope is supernatural and it grows through faith in Christ. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. The more the apostles focused on God, their hope was constantly ignited and the Spirit of God continued to show them what the normal eyes could not see.

1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God”. No wonder the apostles had such confidence.

Every day I am challenged with a thought, are you willing it give it all up for Christ? I now understand why the Priests spoke so much about hope. If our hope is not in Christ Jesus, problems swallow us whole, and it becomes difficult to remain obedient to the Holy Spirit. I don’t know if this has happened to you but I find that each time I try to hold onto things of this world, the less hope I start to feel.

As I grew in my walk with God, I realized that the more I kept my focus on Christ, the more hope I felt, even when my current circumstances say the opposite. Sometimes it is difficult to see hope in a situation but once we hope and yearn earnestly for salvation, then we can be hopeful for many other things. If you are a praying Christian, you may have noticed that the prayers that get answered very quickly are prayers that have to do with transforming and renewing your soul.  That is because God’s true desire is that we come to know, trust, love, worship, and hope in him.

No matter your situation or where you are in life right now, I encourage you not to lose hope and know that you have a future. True hope comes from God alone and hoping in him will never bring you sadness because he has a plan for those who look to him. “Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off” Proverbs 24:14.

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