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What It Means To Hope

By Andrea Lucado

 

We all enter a new year from different places. Some of us are grateful for the end of a difficult year, and are hopeful this year will be better. Some of us are grateful for the end of an incredible year in which we saw the work of God, and are hopeful He will do it again. No matter what happened in the previous year, most of us are hopeful at the beginning of a new one. Hopeful for something big, or hopeful for something small and simple, but hopeful nonetheless.

 

This month we would like to spend some time looking at what scripture says about this beautiful word hope. The Bible has quite a bit to say on the topic. One of the most beloved passages on hope in scripture is found in the book of Isaiah.

 

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV

 

Other translations of this verse replace the word hope with something else. For example, the Holman Christian Standard Bible says, “but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength.” The New King James Version says, “but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.”

 

The Hebrew word translated here as hope, trust, and wait is qavah, which means “to wait, look for, hope, expect.” Looking at this definition and these different translations sheds light on the depth of Christian hope. When you are a Christ follower, hope is much more than hoping for a promotion, or hoping to go on a vacation. Hope in the Christian life involves waiting, expectancy, and trust. It is not so much something we do, as it is a posture we take toward all facets of our lives.

 

Christians live with the knowledge that our story is part of a much greater one. We know that no matter what our circumstances look like, our greatest provision—Jesus Christ—has already come. This allows us to have a steady stream of hope that underlies the disappointing moments, and this hope changes depending on the circumstance. Sometimes hope feels like expectant waiting. At other times it is a defiant trust. At still other times, a hesitant peering into the future, unsure if what you long for will ever happen. Hope can feel strong and life-giving during one season and weak and painful during another. Hope can come easily, or hope can feel impossible, but all of it is still hope. All of it is still rooted in this belief that something greater is happening. A bigger story is at play.

 

Wherever this new year finds you, full of hope or barely clinging to it, we hope you’ll join us this month as we explore the depth and layers of what it means to have hope on this Christian journey.

 

If you would like to know more about what the Christian life looks like, we encourage you to check out our Bible study Introduction to the Christian Life. More information can be found here.