What are you placing your hope in?
What are you really placing your hope in?
I know many of us want to say that our hope is in God. I want to say that my hope is in God. The tension is, however, that while my hope for my salvation is in God, I often place my hope for this life on earth in other things. I hope in things like a perfect job and marriage. Can you relate to this struggle? Maybe you’ve found yourself hoping in things like your health, relationships, finances, politics, your career, etc. I’m glad I’m not alone! Here is the problem: we are not promised any of these things, and, even if we do get these things, none of them will last. What happens when these things that we have hoped in turn out to disappoint? Maybe it feels like our world crashes because suddenly that thing that we have hoped in is gone. Or maybe, if we do not get the thing we were hoping for, we stop hoping altogether. This is no way to live. What I am discovering, instead, is that God’s people are called to hope. Here’s proof:
Romans 15:13 says “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.”[i]
The first six words of this verse are so incredible rich. The apostle Paul who wrote the book of Romans calls God “The God of hope.” “Hope” here is an adjective describing God. Rather than describing what God is made up of, hope describes what God produces.[ii] In other words, this phrase could be translated as “the God who produces hope.”[iii] How incredible is that? God is the one who produces hope. All of the other things that we could put our hope in might bring us temporary happiness, but they cannot produce hope.
I’ve come to realize that I’ve been misunderstanding hope. God’s people, indeed, are called to hope. But we are not called to hope in just anything. Instead of hoping in other things that will disappoint, we are called to redirect our hope to the One who is the very producer of hope: the God of hope. Hope produced by God is not just hope for eternity, although it is that. It’s hope for everyday circumstances too. This does not mean that every circumstance will turn out exactly how you and I want it to. In fact, they rarely do. It does, however, mean that God is faithful and can restore and redeem anything, even in the most seemingly impossible situations. If we are looking for His redemption periods of difficulty, we will find it. And as we find evidence of His redemption, something will well up in us: hope. Because of this, we can live as a people who are profoundly hopeful, even in the most difficult times.
So what are you hoping in today?
Is anything keeping you from placing all of your hope in God? If so, turn to Him. Ask Him, the producer of hope, to give you hope today. He is the only One who can truly satisfy our deepest needs.
[i] The Holy Bible, The New International Version, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).
[ii] Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 106.
About The Author
Laura Courtney lives in Dallas, Texas and is working toward her Master of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. She loves teaching and writing about the Bible. Her passion is to see people fall more deeply in love with God and His word. Laura currently serves as an intern for HeartStrong Faith.