If there is one word that is abused and wrongly taken upon the lips of a child of God very often in this day and age, it is the word hope. Much of the time we say, "I hope so" and all that we mean thereby is, ''I would like to see it happen.'' However, the word hope means "to desire with expectancy and believe that it is attainable." And the hope of the child of God, as presented in Scripture, always has both of those elements in it, namely, desire or longing and expectation or assurance that the object hoped for will come.
Thus when in Psalm 131:3 David writes "Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and forever," he means that we should desire salvation and its blessings, which God promises us, and live in the confidence that He will fulfill all of His promises in the minutest detail. Thus our versification has (PRC Psalter):
Ye people of the Lord,
In Him alone confide;
From this time forth and evermore
His wisdom be your guide.
All this fits in so beautifully with David's previous words that his heart is not haughty, and that he has behaved and quieted his soul. (The Hebrew word is soul rather than myself.) He is now like a child weaned, weaned away from his former silly and haughty notions that he knew better than God what was good for him.
What about you and me? Do we hope in God? When it comes down to it, you and I cannot hope in God's promises without conviction that they will be fulfilled. We hope, do we not, that Christ will return? We hope that He will lift us up above the curse which now rests upon this earth. But we also hope that He will deliver us completely from the power of sin, so that in the new Jerusalem it will be impossible for us to sin. We will awake with Christ's likeness and forever be satisfied (Psalm 17:15). But we hope for all this in the expectation of its coming. We hope because we are confident that it will take place.
Use the word hope that way. And live in that hope, which in Romans 5:5 Paul says ''maketh not ashamed.''
Quote for Reflection:
Matthew Henry on Nehemiah 4: "The hindering of good work is that which bad men aim at and promise themselves; but good work is God’s work, and it shall prosper."
- Date: 31-May