For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth. - Psalm 71:5
What is hope? In the days in which we live, the word "hope" seems to have a limited meaning compared with its usage several years ago. For many, the word "hope" is synonymous with the word "wish." I hope it doesn't rain. I hope I get the job. I hope the deposit goes through before the bills come out. I hope. I wish. I desire. I want these things to happen, but in truth, it's only wishful thinking.
But if you look up the word "hope," you'll discover that it means "to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, or to expect with confidence." It goes far beyond wanting to the realm of expecting. And it is this genuine hope that is one of the greatest gifts God bestows upon us.
When viewing God as our hope, however, we must be careful that we accept Him as our expectation and not merely consider our expectations of Him. In other words, we must beware against expecting God to be at our beck and call, treating Him as some genie in a magical lamp. We must also guard against expecting Him to do for us things He never promised He would do. These types of expectations only lead to doubt, discouragement, and disappointment. We cannot expect God to be what we want Him to be. On the other hand, there are many things we can expect from God—all of which have Scriptural backing.
With God as our hope, we can expect the following:
God will always be God. - Psalm 48:14
God is good. - Psalm 145:9
God is just. - Deuteronomy 32:4
God is holy. - Revelation 4:8
God will fulfill all His promises. - II Peter 3:9
God will never leave us or forsake us. - Hebrews 13:5
God will always love us. - Romans 8:38-39
God will come again and take those of us who are saved to Heaven to live with Him eternally. - John 14:2-3
God can be trusted. - Psalm 22:4-5
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. - Hebrews 13:8
God is not a respecter of persons. - Romans 2:11
God is in control. - Job 12:10
Yes, in these truths (and many more), we can have confidence. We can expect God to be true to His nature, and in that, He is our hope, and He gives us hope. Hope for a brighter tomorrow. Hope for a beautiful future. Hope for answered prayers and wiped away tears. Hope to live and breathe day after day. Hope to be all He wants us to be.
My mind drifted away for a moment to a line from my favorite television show. In the midst of a dark situation, one of the leading characters asks the wise physician, "Is there no hope? No hope at all?" The physician answered, "My lady, there is always hope." Amen to that! God is eternal. He has no beginning or end. And if God is hope (which according to today's verse, He is), then hope is also eternal, with no beginning or end. Yes, as long as there is God, there is hope!