Hope is not about a specific outcome. Hope is about diving deep into the character of God and experiencing His goodness to the core of you.
Why doesn’t hope disappoint? “Because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” When you personally know deep, deep, deep in your heart how good and kind and loving and fiercely devoted to you that He is, your heart will come to rest in a perpetual state of hope.
If hope were dependent on us seeing a specific outcome within a specific time frame, then hope would indeed disappoint, many, many times over. Is it not true that so many things in life turn out differently than we were expecting or wishing for?
“I had hoped my son would find a new friend at school this year.”
“I was seriously hoping my team would win the big game.”
“I had really hoped to be hired for that job.”
These usages of the word “hope” are not the biblical meaning of this vitally important concept. They are expressions of wishes. While those wishes are legitimate and have their place, the hope God holds forth to us is something so much deeper, something so much richer.
Biblical hope is the overflow response of a heart immersed in the revelation of Daddy’s love. It thrives even in the most dire of physical circumstances. It flourishes supernaturally. Hope cries out triumphantly,
“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior!”
(Hab. 3:17-18, NIV).
Circumstances may disappoint, but real hope will not. As we ask Daddy for Holy Spirit to pour His love into our hearts, He responds. The longer we spend immersed in His presence, the more opportunity He has to pour in more and more of His devotion, His affection, His affirmation, His tenderness, His delight in us, and His intimate communion into our spirits.
As a result, hope gradually transforms the substance of our inner being. Holy Spirit convinces us to the very core of us that Jesus loves us more than His own life. He truly would, and will, do anything for us. He will always take the most beautiful care of us. This illumination transforms us into supernaturally hopeful daughters and sons.
In this way, the production of unshakable hope within us is the job of the Holy Spirit. He is unrelenting in this pursuit. However, we can help accelerate the process by yielding fully to His process in our lives.
As we do so, even the most painful of trials will, in the end, without fail, result in a harvest of hope abounding on the inside of us. As we draw closer and closer to Him in the midst of our adversity, He will sustain us by pouring more and more of Daddy’s love into our hearts. So we “also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3-4, NIV).
It’s essential to understand, we all go through times in our lives when we feel like hope has been ripped out of our hearts. There is no condemnation for that. If we cling to Daddy through the times, though, He will always restore real, living, vibrant hope to our hearts. Eventually, as Holy Spirit relentlessly does His work in the depths of us, He will incorporate this living hope into the very fabric of who we are.
He will do this because it’s in His nature to do. It’s who He is. He is the God of hope.
Have you experienced God’s inexplicable hope during a very painful season of your life?