Do you for one minute believe that? No, we counted five days ahead, and then went out that evening and looked for what we were sure would be there, seedlings poking their heads through the clods of earth, and sure enough, there they were.
Our definition of hope is very much as I described, like a couple of middle school girls who “hope” a certain cute boy will look their way, or a teacher will change the due date on a big project, or a “mean” girl won’t spread some sort of embarrassing news about them. “Please, please, please, maybe, maybe, maybe.” That is not the Bible definition of hope.
I knew that, but I am not sure how much I really understood it until I did a study on hope and found passage after passage that made it abundantly clear.
…Waiting for our blessed hope, Titus 2:13. That’s “waiting” like waiting for the bus at the regular stop, not like you just walked out one morning with absolutely no knowledge of the city transit system, sat down on the side of the road and “hoped” you had guessed right.
…The full assurance of hope, Heb 6:11, not just a hint that it might be possible, but completely sure it will happen.
Hope is a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, Heb 6:19. How would you like to use the hope we often express as a “maybe” as your anchor in the middle of a storm?
…Hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised, Titus 1:2.
Peter says that our salvation is “ready to be revealed,” 1 Pet 1:5, a salvation he makes synonymous to the “hope” in verse 3. It’s like a portrait on an easel covered by a satin cloth, just waiting for the unveiling. God has prepared that salvation “from the foundation of the world,” Matt 25:34. No one is up there still hammering away on the off chance it might be ready when you need it. It is already there, available whenever the Lord decides to give it. Sure. Certain. There is nothing cross-your-fingers “maybe, maybe, maybe,” about it.
Farming is tricky enough with weather, pests, and plant diseases abounding. If a man had to wonder whether or not a seed would sprout where he planted it, who would ever even try? Paul uses that very example in 1 Cor 9:10: for our sake it was written that he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes to thresh in hope of partaking.
Our hope is like planting seeds. They will come up, and it will come about. It’s time we left middle school behind with its string of maybes, and became adults who understand the assuredness of our hope, and then use that certainty to strengthen us in whatever situations life holds.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.