When someone says they hope something will happen, it is usually a wishful thinking kind of thing. “I hope it won’t rain this weekend.” “I hope they figured out what is wrong with my car.” “I hope my puppy doesn’t get much bigger.”
The world’s definition of hope is so much different than what God means when He uses the word hope. Have you ever thought about how crazy it would be that when God talks about hope in the Bible, He is talking about wishful thinking? Let’s read some Scriptures that way.
- Psalm 33:22 Let your unfailing love surrounds us, Lord, for our wishful thinking is in you alone. (NLT)
- Psalm 94:14 When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed wishful thoughts and cheer. (NLT)
- Jeremiah 17:17 You alone are my wishful thoughts in the day of disaster. (NLT)
- Romans 5:5 Now wishful thinking does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NKJV)
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 …We don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no wishful thoughts. (GW)
- Hebrews 6:19 This wishful thinking is a safe anchor for our souls. (NLV)
That is almost laughable, right? And yet, that is quite often how we interpret God’s hope, without even realizing it. When God talks about hope, He is talking about a confident expectation. It is the seed we plant that grows into faith and trust.
A great example is a little girl who hopes she will get married someday. That is the wishful thinking kind of hope. But one day a young man comes into her life, they fall deeply in love, and he gets down on one knee with a question and a ring. Her getting married is no longer wishful thinking. It is something she actually starts planning for with anticipation, knowing it is coming. There is a confident expectation that she is going to get married.
God’s hope is so much more than wishful thinking! It is something we can count on, knowing He is at work and hasn’t abandoned us in our greatest time of need.
Let’s look at the verses above, putting in God’s definition of hope; a confident expectation in God’s power, His love, and His ability and desire to bring us out of the darkness and back into light, giving us a life of meaning and purpose again.
- Psalm 33:22 Let your unfailing love surrounds us, Lord, for our hope (confident expectation) is in you alone. (NLT)
- Psalm 94:14 When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me a renewed hope (confident expectation) and cheer. (NLT)
- Jeremiah 17:17 You alone are my hope (confident expectation) in the day of disaster. (NLT)
- Romans 5:5 Now hope (confident expectation) does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NKJV)
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 …We don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no hope (confident expectation). (GW)
- Hebrews 6:19 This hope (confident expectation) is a safe anchor for our souls. (NLV)
Wishful thinking won’t get you out of your black hole of grief, but true hope will; the anticipation and confident expectation that God will pull you out of the suffocating darkness and put you on a path of life that leads you to fullness and satisfaction in walking out the destiny and purpose He still has for you.
Death and life… In God’s kingdom, life always comes from death, including the death of our own soul after our child died. The two can truly merge together.
Are you in God’s kingdom? Then you are in a place where there is full resurrection power. You can learn to live again. Allow God to plant His seed of hope right in the middle of your pain, and ask Him what you can do to nourish it, as you watch it grow into life.
No matter how broken you are today, tomorrow promises new hope. I am not talking about new wishes, but a new confidence in who God is and how He is at work in your pain.
Expressions of Hope is provided by Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope). The founders, Dave and Laura Diehl, travel full time in their Hope Mobile (a 38-foot motor home) to be more easily available for speaking and ministry requests, and bringing intimate weekend retreats to bereaved parents. Laura is also a singer/songwriter and the author of multiple award-winning books.
If you would like more information about bringing Dave and Laura to you for an event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in bringing GPS Hope to your area for a weekend retreat click here.
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