Spring and the color green remind me of hope. I love watching the dead of winter turn into a new season: one that speaks of life. Trees sprout green buds and soon leaves take shape. Shrubs bloom and blossom turning barren landscapes into beautiful gardens. Cooler temperatures rise as the sun shines bright. Suddenly, I long to spend time outdoors under clear blue skies. Relaxing. Playing. Or perhaps praying.
When we pray full of hope we expect to see God’s goodness. The Greek word for hope means to wait, look for, expect, and trust in. Hope is about our future. Life is full of circumstances that challenge our hope: families become estranged, loved ones die, jobs losses occur, sickness and addictions invade, finances dwindle. The list can go on.
I remember when my husband lost his job. I didn’t have a paid position. My oldest was enrolled in a private college and my youngest in a private high school. We also were the sole financial provider for my husband’s 100-year-old grandma. Our lives changed in a heartbeat. I found myself having to trust God daily for our future by learning to live in the present by faith.
Each day I woke up and reminded myself our circumstances didn’t dictate our future. God did. He says he has good plans for me: a hope and future. He does not plan to hurt me (Jer. 29:11 ERV). But Hebrews 11:1 spoke volumes to me. Paul says faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (NLT).
Faith and hope go together like peanut butter and jelly. Faith is what brings what we hope for into existence. My husband and I hoped he would get a job. He went eight months without one. But we chose to stand in faith that God would provide the right job at the right time for us. And He did. My hope was not in my husband nor was it in the company he now works for. My hope was in God, alone.
Hope isn’t found in circumstances or other people. It can only be found in Jesus Christ. If we place our hope in anyone or anything else we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Romans 5:4 says hope does not disappoint us. We can hope because all the promises of God in Christ Jesus are yes and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). He provided everything we need on the cross.
I am intrigued the first and last book of the Bible begins and ends with a rainbow. It’s as if the God of this universe who spoke creation into being is saying the best is yet to come. Your circumstances might look bleak but God brought hope: a life restored. Ask God to invade your circumstances. Then stand in faith until you see what you hope for happen.