What is Hope?

The reason why you’re even reading this right now is that you know there must be hope.

You’re right.

Long ago, someone penned, “This hope will not lead to disappointment.”  The man who wrote this spent innumerable sleepless nights being tortured with guilt and shame.  So, what was he talking about?  What hope does not lead to disappointment?

Firstly, the reason we as humans need hope is that we are hopeless.  We are hopeless to feel good, hopeless to know joy, and hopeless to face another day.

We think we know what gives us hope.  We’ve tried everything.  We have maybe even “tried God”.  But, we got disillusioned.  We got burned.  We feel abandoned by God.

You’re not the first person to feel abandoned by God.  There was a whole group of people that felt abandoned by God.  They were given this message: “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Perhaps that’s a message you need to hear, too.  God has plans for your life – plans for good, to give you a future and a hope.

We all have a need and a desire for hope, because God put it there.  God wants you to have hope.  God also knows that we can’t manufacture it ourselves, so He’s made a way for us to experience it.

The first step to knowing hope is to know we’re hopeless. Some of us know this all too well.  We’ve burned bridges.  We’ve lost jobs, we’ve lost family, and we’ve lost happiness.  Some of us have really messed up lives.

But that’s never the end of the story.  There’s always hope.  The plans God has will not end in disaster, but in good.

God’s justice for the world means that all the ways we’ve messed up have separated us from His good plans.  Even though it’s our fault, God doesn’t want things to end there.

That’s where Jesus comes in.  We may really only know that name as a curse word.  But, what happened is that God became a man, named Jesus, about 2,000 years ago.  Jesus taught people where real hope comes from, and then sacrificed himself to satisfy God’s justice towards humanity.  Three days later, however, Jesus came back to life, thus defeating that which keeps us up at night with hopelessness – Death.

But, something doesn’t mean anything to us, unless we make it who we are.  Even though we’re hopeless on our own, we can have hope by accepting that Jesus died and came back to life on our behalf.  It seems too good to be true, but it’s not.

God himself is hope.  But, if we want all of hope – that is, all of God – he needs to have all of who we are.

Hope is forgiveness.  Hope is love.  Hope is salvation.  Hope is joy.

You don’t need to work for it.  You don’t need to search for it any longer.  Living life for God, by way of what Jesus has done for us, is where real hope comes from.

And, “This hope,” as someone wrote, “will not lead to disappointment.”

It will not lead to disappointment because we know we’re in God’s hands.  No matter what happens in our lives after we  start living for God, we will still be in God’s hands as he shapes, changes, and transforms us.

Being hopeful means that we know we’re in God’s good and perfect hands as He gives us a “future and a hope”.