When fear crashes in on us, hope, and assurance of God being in control seems impossible. Most of us use the word “hope” as an emotional response that conveys doubt. Hoping that we get what we want for our birthday is not how the Bible defines “hope.” It is the extreme opposite!
In Hebrew, the word ‘batah ‘means hope. It denotes confidence, security, or absolute assuredness of something.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (Psalms 16:4).
In the New Testament, the word for hope is ‘Elpis,’ which means the same as its Hebrew counterpart.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Because the Bible is God’s Word, we know that Jesus died for our sins and that those who believe can, with assurance, look forward to living with Him in Heaven when we die.
When we choose to place our faith in God, the troubles of the world will take their proper position.
For some, hopelessness sets in when circumstances in our life seem to press in around us, and we don’t see a way out. Uncontrolled fear can take us there. Paul wrote, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8). Paul suffered many hardships, but never was he hopeless because his faith was not based on circumstances. He knew that God was in control, and therefore he could endure any crisis that came his way.
But biblical hope is never based on what is possible with man. It looks away from man to the promise of God. Consider Abraham. He was too old to have a child, and his wife was barren. Abraham said in Genesis 15:3-5, “You have given me no children, so one of my servants will have to be my heir.” Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you.” Then the Lord brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, “Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that—too many to count!”
Often we look at the situation and despair, but we forget that God is sovereign and is in complete control. His promises are above and beyond what we can imagine. God promised Abraham that thru his descendants would come his Seed. This promise encompasses Abraham’s best known and most revered descendant, Jesus Christ.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
How then do we handle discouragement?
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 43:5).
No matter how desperate or frightened we may be, there is hope through Jesus that He will be with us always, and He will give us peace through all circumstances!