Choose to Have Hope

A Year of Choices…

By Barbara Dahlgren from Barbara’s Banter at

Romans 15.13


There are times in life when our circumstances seem so daunting it feels hopeless.  Yet as Christians we never need to feel as if there is no hope because our God is a God of hope.

Paul prayed for the early church to be filled with hope:  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)  Hope is even one of the big three Christian principles mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:13:  faith, hope, and charity.   So hope must be pretty important.

When the world thinks of hope it is usually wishful thinking.  People hope they have a good day or hope to win the lottery.  But hope from a spiritual perspective is not wishful thinking.

The Old Testament word for hope is “yachal” and means to wait or be patient.  The Greek word for hope in the New Testament is a little different.  It is “elpis” which means favorable and confident expectation.  We aren’t just waiting, we are confident our wait will reap positive results.

Why is hope important?  Believe it or not, hope is as necessary to the human spirit as oxygen is to the physical body.  When people lose hope they are overcome with despair and lack of purpose.  Without hope we lose all desire to go on.  Our problems overwhelm us.  Not having hope can literally destroy our lives.

There is a lot of pain, tragedy, trauma, and suffering in this world which can lead to feelings of hopelessness – if we don’t have God in our lives. (Ephesians 2:12)  Those without God don’t understand that the problems of this world are temporary.  Even death is a temporary condition. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Where does this kind of hope come from?  As Christians, our hope comes from Christ living in us. (Colossians 1:27)  Christ is our hope. (1 Timothy 1:1)  So our hope is connected with our relationship with God.

Consider this… When Jesus died and was resurrected we were “begotten to a living hope.”  (1 Peter 1:3-5)  We have an inheritance that will not fade away.  Our hope is blessed assurance that everything God has told us is true.  We know salvation is a done deal. We don’t have to wonder about it.  We don’t have to doubt it.  We can be confident about that!  Everything God promised us is true and God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)

Hebrews 6.18-19

The Bible says that hope is strong and trustworthy anchor for our soul. (Hebrews 6:18-19) What does an anchor do?  When the boat drifts a little this way or that way the anchor tugs it back, and keeps it centered, keeps it steady.  We needed to be anchored to our living, loving God so we don’t drift away.

Much is said in the Bible about Christian trials and suffering.  And although it’s not something we like to think about, trials and suffering happen to all of us at one time or another.  Hope helps us make it through the hard times because hope is not just wishful thinking that everything will turn out all right.   Hope is patiently waiting on God with confidence and expectation for His will to be done.


Suggestions for practicing this choice:

  • If your hope is in Christ then you should strive to build a relationship with Him.  If your hope is in the world, then good luck!
  • Have some quiet time with God every day.  Minutes of quiet time with God produce hours of hope in Him.
  • Limit your time with negative influences whether that’s family, friends, or even watching the news.
  • Every day do a small act of kindness for someone else.  Focus outward, not inward.  And don’t forget to focus upward to God – thanking him endlessly for each blessing.
  • If you screw up then cut yourself some slack.  I’m not saying we don’t accept the consequences of our actions.  I’m saying to learn from your mistakes and move on.  Each new day is a gift from God.
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