The God of Hope
By Patrick B. Woods
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13).
Men have need of a better day. Furthermore, they have need of the knowledge of a better day. It is not enough for there to be light at the end of the tunnel. In order for men to enter the tunnel and endure its darkness they must know that darkness is not the end of the matter. There must be light and they must know about it. This is what hope is about. Those who have hope know that the happenings of today must be endured because the benefits of tomorrow are too good to be neglected.
Hope. Without hope men are left with despair and in the very best circumstance: ignorance. We simply do not know what tomorrow will bring. In fact, Jesus exhorted us to take "no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself" and again, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Mt. 6:34). There is not benefit in worrying about what is unknown. There is great blessing, however, in trusting in the One who does know what tomorrow holds. There is everlasting comfort and incomprehensible peace in trusting in the God of hope.
Hope is the earnest expectation of good things to come. It is not tangible but it is powerful. You cannot hold it but it can take hold of you. It can dominate your thoughts, comfort you heart, and drive your actions. For "hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance" (Rom. 8:24-25). This perseverance and patience is characteristic of all those who are abounding in hope. They will not forfeit the unseen blessings of heaven for the temporary pleasure of what they can see. Instead they consider themselves to be strangers and pilgrims in this world all the while looking eagerly and longingly toward that world which is to come. AND... they will do anything to obtain a good inheritance in that world. Though laboring by the sweat of their brow they recognize that they are plowing in hope and threshing in hope knowing that without a doubt they shall be partakers of their hope (I Cor. 9:10).
The God of Hope. All hope is based upon the promise true substance not just wishful thinking. "Hope," after all, "maketh not ashamed." We are not simply trusting in the existence of an inheritance ready to be revealed but rather trusting in a God who is always faithful to provide abundantly more than His people can ask or imagine. In view of this our hope is associated with "full assurance" (Heb. 6:11) and is able to sustain us until the end. For our hope is not in a someTHING but a someONE. The someTHINGS come to us because the someONE is a provider. God has gone on record describing Himself as "The God of Hope."
Wherever there is God there is hope. We can hope in whatever God promises. It is a sure thing. If we can get to God we can obtain whatever it is that He has promised. Whatever peril, affliction, sorrow or temptation paves the road we must traverse on our way to the Father, we can be sure that our Shepherd is able to bring us safely there and grace that will be revealed worth every drop of sweat, every shed tear and every anxious thought. The God of Hope will dispel all these things with the glory of His presence. With God there is hope and our hope is in God.