Hope = an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation".
This definition is from Wikipedia, but hope in the Bible is a more certain ‘looking forward’.
We all hope for things in life and love it when good things happen to us, which is natural. However, life doesn’t always work out the exact way we planned it. In Proverbs 13:12 it states “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” When things don’t go our way or what we’ve hoped and longed for doesn’t happen; the disappointment can rot our lives and make us sick, emotionally and spiritually. I’m sure if you think about something that didn’t happen for you, you’ll remember how hurtful it was and how it made your heart ache. Perhaps you’re in that predicament right now.
There have many times in my life where what I’ve hoped for hasn’t happened and yes, it’s been tough at times dealing with the aftermath of a hope deferred. However, in all of those moments there’s been a hope that is much bigger than my fleshly hopes and desires. My hope is built on Jesus; in Him there is a deep love and faithfulness that goes beyond the grave.
Hoping in Jesus Christ makes all the difference to ones perspective in life. Yes of course things happen that one didn’t hope for or things don’t happen that one hoped for, but that doesn’t deviate from the truth of our hope in Jesus, who will never alter or let us down. We can trust Jesus implicitly with our lives, hopes and dreams, but we need to surrender to His ways and not our wants and wishes.
Just recently I was asked “Has God ever disappointed you?” my answer was “Yes, but God always has my best interest at heart. So I’ve been disappointed when I’ve asked God for miracles or a change of circumstances and it’s not happened, but His goodness and faithfulness has far outweighed that disappointment.” I can look back on my life and see where events didn’t go how I would’ve liked it to have gone, but wow I can certainly see God’s faithfulness on my life. I believe if I hope in Him, my life is much richer and more fulfilled than if I hope in myself and in this world.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my life threatening blood issue was causing mammoth stress for me and the obstetrician looking after me, much prayer was made for a miracle. The miracle didn’t happen and a platelet transfusion was done whilst I slept and was operated on. Our daughter was born safely and I survived. God literally sent his angels to watch over me and a Christian midwife to be the first to hold our girl. I look back at that day with joy, not just because our daughter was given to us, but because a miracle, far bigger than what I’d hoped for, occurred.
What Jesus did for each one of us at the cross and through his resurrection gives us the firmest foundation of hope. Loving God and each other should come out of the hope we have found in our awesome saviour Jesus Christ.