Hoping vs. Wishing
The sky was a cloudless blue and the air was unbelievably hot for the first week of September as IÂ stopped to speak to a neighbor. “I hope it rains soon”, sheÂ saidÂ as we surveyed the brown lawns and gardens. I agreed that I certainlyÂ thought we needed rain however as I continued on my way thinking about her statementÂ I realized she didn’t really seem to have much confidence in the fact of rain. Maybe she was just wishing for rain instead of hoping.
Hope is such a small word that can have a great impact but how many times do we use the word hope but with little expected outcome? We often tend to “throw” words around without really thinking clearly of their meaning.Â A child “hopes”Â she gets to go to a friend’s house, aÂ student “hopes” they pass a test, the gardener “hopes” it rains.Â When we “hope” with little confidence it changes the meaning ofÂ hope to wish. Wishing and hopingÂ is notÂ the same thing. The sparks of wishing hold little confidence thatÂ the end results will be fruitful. Wishing almost seems like a gamble, a lottery of sorts that may or may not come true. To wish is to want something to be true or something to occur. It is the verb of hope however that we should aspire to use in great confidence when we speak of God, Christ, or our faith.Â Wishing may see us through a calm day of no problems but when the world is falling down around us it is the strong verb of hope that we must draw from and use in confidence.
Hope is a Verb
Hope when used confidently as a verb can move us forward in the midst of chaos. Defined by Webster’s dictionary it is to desire withÂ expectations of attainment; to expect with confidence. As Christians it is our hopes through Christ that we will find eternal life. It is through hoping that we place our lives with.Â Attempting to live without the confidence of hopes is not to live and is only placing our lifeÂ on the whim of a wish. We might have as much results wishing for our expectation as by throwing a penny in the well, blowing the seeds from a dandelion, or wishing upon a star. Wishes will not see us throughÂ the chaos and messiness of life. Wishes will not gain us entry into the eternal realm.
Surviving a Tailspin
I read a story about a young lion who wandered away from his family to see if he would receive the same respect from the other animals that his father did.Â He approached a group of monkeys and roared, “Who is the King of the jungle?” The monkeys, fearfully andÂ timidly replied, “You are!” The young lion responded, “And don’t you forget it!” The lion repeated this to each animal in the jungle and got the same answer until he came across a herd of elephants. The little lion roared and asked, “Who is the King of the jungle?” The big bull elephant walked closer to the lion, swept him up in his trunk,Â swung him around and threw him in the river. Battered and wet, the little lion replied, “Just because you didn’t know the answer to the question didn’t mean you had to get nasty about it!”
Most of us roar through life without God in much the same way thinking we have everything in controlÂ – as if we are kings of the jungle that is until life throws us in a tailspin and shows us that we are not.
We do not realize how much we needÂ the confidence of hope until we find ourselves thrown into a tail spin. When life falls apart we do not expect to depend on wishes we can only live and depend on the full confidence of our hopes to see us through. So where do we get this hope and store it up not only for everyday use but for the troubled times weÂ can face withÂ a given moment’s notice? It is found through and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
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. (NIV)
The Power of Hope
Ask anyone who has gone through a hardship and survived how they overcame their problems and they will respond because of the confidence of hope. There is astonishing research on the survival rate of persons with terminal illnesses, depression, and overwhelming oddsÂ who recover or survive because of their confidence of hope. Overflowing hope is a beautiful thought and a powerful contender when faced with the ills of the world.Â But hoping isn’t just reserved for when we face problems. It is the basis of our Christian faith and the key to Christian life. With the confidence of our hopes that we know our dying bodiesÂ will transformÂ into bodies that will never die. Because it is through our hopes that we know that theÂ victory in and through Christ will swallow up death. It is through hope that God gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.
Hoping certainly sees us through to eternal life but how does it apply to life now? It helps us live now in this world that we are consistently moving forward in on a day-to-day basis. Because of our hopes found through Christ we can let go of the past. We can look forward to what God not only wants us to become but will help us do so. The confidenceÂ in hope will help keep us focused on our goal to know Christ. Philippians 3: 13-14.
When We are on Our Knees
Hope is the expectation and trust that God is with us. That He will see us through life whether in the midst of chaos or the collective of calm. Mat Kearney’s song lyrics, Closer to Love,Â speaks about the great importance of holding the power and confidence of hope.
She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away
She said she didn’t believe
It could happen to me
I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees
We all indeed are just a phone call away from being on our knees and crying out in hope with the confidence of trust that God will see us through the toils of life. Remembering always Romans 8:28;
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)
Overflowing hope is a small four letter wordÂ provided only by the Holy Spirit that packs a punch, moves us forward, and showsÂ the key to Christian faith. So let your hope show as the strong verb it is in full confidence each and every day whether it is routine or ridiculous, calm or chaotic.
I pray that you all have a great week. And I fully prayÂ for all of you the prayer that Paul prayed to theÂ Christians in Rome;
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. Romans 15:13(NIV)
Love in Christ,
As you go through this week remember that nothing we will do in this life this week or the weeks to come is important unless it will affect us eternally or has eternal consequences. Think carefully about that as you build your confidence in hope.
What are your Thoughts? Join Us in Discussion about Hope.
Have you depended on hope to help you move forward in the midst of chaos? Is hope a part of your everyday Christian life and do you share that hope with others? Do others see hope in your life strongly displayed? Join us in discussion on the topic of Hope or other related topics.