Hope Does Not Put Us To Shame
What is it that we as Christians hope for? Is hope just a wish? As in, “I hope I get that new book for my birthday!” or “I hope I do well in this test!”? Is that what hope is? Perhaps that is one definition of the word, but I personally think that hope is so much more.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Those wishful hopes we were talking about earlier most often do get put to shame. Much of the time they do not get fulfilled, rather disappointed. And that is normal, right? We just shrug and move on. However, it instills in us a wrong mindset for this other kind of hope- the kind that comes from God.
Scripture says that His hope does not put to shame. The trouble is, since all the other things we hope for often do put us to shame we come to expect God’s hope to be the same. So what is this hope? It is the hope of eternal life in Heaven! And this hope does not disappoint, does not put us to shame, does not float away, and cannot be crushed.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
Crushed Hopes… not so hopeless?
I’ve been sick for a long time. There have been many times where we have falsely thought I was on the way to healing, only to have my hopes crushed. And this has happened over and over again. And yet, I still hope for God’s healing. Sometimes I do want to give up on hope and just live with my condition. I want to just accept it and stop hovering in the hope that I might get better soon, because I don’t want to have my hopes crushed again.
I’ve been wrong though. Whether it is here or in Heaven, God will restore my body, He will heal me. He is the great physician after all. He created me, and not only my body, but also my heart. He knows what I need and our hope in Him will not be disappointed. He is good and perfect.
I was struggling with my hope being crushed once again recently, and I pictured it like this. Maybe the beautiful diamond that is hope was hidden underneath an outer layer of rock. And every time my hope hit a wall, it wasn’t the hope that was crushed at all, rather the outer layer got further chipped off. The rock was not real hope, it was the false hopes and dreams that I thought were the hope that I thought should be fulfilled.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
-Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:2b-4 (NIV)