HOPE... The Anchor To Our Faith
The meaning of Hope is: To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation"
Why is hope so important to have? Isn’t it just wishful thinking? No it is much more than that. Hope is the very anchor to our faith. Without hope our faith is adrift with no real aim. Hope holds our faith in place UNTIL we can see the desire fulfilled. Hope is the “aim” that gets our arrow to the target; it’s the hook that catches the fish while faith is the reel that brings it in.
Faith is a strong or unshakeable belief in something. The Bible contains a clear definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.” Hope holds my faith steady, without that hope my faith is uncertain, unsteady and ineffective.
The enemy works very hard to destroy our hope. He brings thing after thing to attack us, shake us and derail our hope. If he can get us to lose hope he can dislodge our faith. He can then get us to believe his lies that the thing God has promised will not happen, couldn’t be true and won’t ever be realized.
I remember a time when I had lost my hope. There had been a series of years that were really hard. Everything I believed about my future was shaken. The rug was literally pulled out from under my life. I found myself reeling from disbelief, like a boxer who had been sucker punched. I couldn’t get my mind to engage, I couldn’t seem to focus or get a grip on anything.
I soon began to feel like nothing would ever work out, things I believed were certain would now never come to pass. I felt my life was over. I was just going through the motions like a robot. Nothing meant anything. I had lost hope for my future. I fell into a deep, dark depression that led me to feeling suicidal.
I began to hear a song on the radio. It seemed every time I got in my car it was on. So I found myself finally listening to the words. It was a Danny Gokey song called “Hope in Front of Me.” The lyrics were:
“I've been running through rain that I thought would never end. Trying to make it on faith
in a struggle against the wind. I've seen the dark and the broken places but I know in my soul no matter how bad it gets I'll be alright. There's hope in front me there’s a light, I still see it, there's a hand still holding me, even when I don't believe it. I might be down but I'm not dead, there's better days still up ahead. Even after all I've seen, there's hope in front of me.
There's a place at the end of the storm you finally find where the hurt and the tears and the pain all fall behind. You open up your eyes and up ahead there's a big sun shining. Right then and there you realize…You'll be alright”
To be honest, which is all I know how to do, the first several times I heard that I thought to myself…yea right…whatever. Not for me, nothing will ever change for me. But as I continued to hear it at some point I began to feel this little speck of hope. I could actually “feel” it. Like something I could see way off in the distance, but it was there.
At first I tried to ignore it, but soon I began to entertain the idea that it just might be true. When I embraced that thought, that hope, it was all my faith needed. It took root in my soul. Over maybe a year that seed of hope grew until it was a firm belief in my heart.
I can’t really describe the feeling of relief that I felt. It was like a dark cloud that had been hanging over my life lifted enough to let me breath. I took long deep breaths like someone who had been drowning finally found air. That relief then gave me more hope until a few years later I was completely free of the debilitating, suicidal depression that had plagued my life for 11 years.
Did I get better overnight, not even a little bit true!! Did everything just come up roses, nope. But little by little as hope grew my faith grew. Did God wave a magic wand over my life and make it all better, heck no. I had to do my part to get free. It was excruciating, hard, painful work. One hard step at a time I climbed out of the deep pit the enemy had dug for me.
All of that happened when I found HOPE. Have you lost hope? Do you feel nothing will ever change for you? I can say with confidence that is not true. If I can find hope, if I can get free, if God helped me He will help you. Let God into your situation no matter how dark it feels, there is hope in front of you too.