I remember standing in the backyard when I got the phone call. It was a beautiful spring day and I was watching my sons ride bikes round and round the patio while I waited for the phone to ring. It would be good news. I knew it.
I only heard the first few sentences-the voice on the other line was trying to point out the positive, but the truth of the matter was that I didn’t get it. That situation I wanted so much, that I had prayed for, hoped for, felt confident in acquiring, slipped away in a matter of seconds. I had never felt the range of such total excitement and then complete defeat in such sweeping totality, like this, ever before.
My hopes had been devastated and all seemed lost. I slumped into a season of great expectations-great expectations of the worst possible scenario. For myself, for my children, for my neighbors, for the world.
I started heaping doses of reality into every cup that might appear half full.
Life became something I moved through, instead of navigating well.
My low expectations were a way of “protecting” myself when really, I was robbing myself of joy.
Maybe you relate all too well. Every day is a struggle to see the good. Each relationship seems so hard. It’s not just one area of trial, its manifold circumstances that seem set out to get you down.
The word “hope” is for other people. It’s for people who have reasons with which to be hopeful. People who have money, people who don’t struggle with infertility, people who are healthy, people who had good parents, people who have strong marriages, or people who have best friends. And we forget that our hope is not in things, or people-it’s in Christ. The truth that we can hope ever, always, even in barren desert and raging storm fades away with the desires of our hearts.
But even nature reminds us that night becomes day, and winter turns to spring. God’s Word is lasting and true-trustworthy. If you find yourself “keeping it real” by expecting the worst so that you won’t be hurt again, then consider meditating on these passages from the Bible. Allow God’s Word to change your thinking, renew your hope, and bring you joy. Yield your expectations to hope in Christ and you will flourish.
1. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
2. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
3.For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
4.“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7
5. But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:25
6. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 43:5
7. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25
8. Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:1-6
9. But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
10.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
11. For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
12. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” Romans 4:18, The Message
Hope on! Put your hope in God, and find joy, even in the most impossible circumstance, or deepest disappointment. Hope is found in Christ alone, and He is always near. Your season is only a season. The future IS bright-not just for others, but for YOU.
YOUR TURN! Which of these verses comforts you the most? Is there another passage that you cling to that brings you hope?
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