Hope: Expecting God’s Future Grace
Do your kids ever ask the same questions over and over? One day, I remember my children continually asking me if we were going to the park in the afternoon. I had already told them during breakfast that we were going. But they kept asking me.
“Are we going to the park today?”
We had a regular park day every Friday morning as part of our weekly routine. It wasn’t a new activity, but this day they kept asking me as if I would forget about it.
Then I realized what was going on. We had just come off of a few weeks of sickness. You know, that really ‘fun’ stomach bug that gets passed from one child to another. And, no, they don’t get it at the same time…they take turns with the throwing up and the diarrhea…just to prolong the excitement!
Well, because of that and some other things, we had missed park day for a few weeks. I realized that this was a big deal. They felt that they had to keep asking me because we had been inconsistent in our schedule.
Moms are like that. Not because we don’t plan and not because we are fickle. But our crazy life as parents sometimes causes our plans to change. That means we occasionally promise one thing and then have to do another. The promises given to our children are given by a flimsy promise giver (even if that flimsiness is unintentional).
I began to think about that, regarding hope. You see, we are all hopeful creatures and need to place our hope in something, whether it is our bank accounts, our husband, or our abilities. However, if the object of our hope is insecure or unstable, then our lives will be characterized by insecurity and instability. All of those things (yes, even your husband) are not completely sure. We are all fallen beings who struggle with sin. Thankfully, though, God is not flimsy like us. He remembers his promises to us and keeps them. And that is our comfort and hope in life.
Psalms 119:49-50 says, “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
You see, we are only as secure as the object of our faith and hope. We know that God does what he says he will do. Hebrews 6:18 says, “so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” He is the ONLY person we can completely trust at his word.
And to go further, he is the one who “fills us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit [we] may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
To be full
You see, if our hope is in God, we will be full…filled to overflowing. Some people call this a peculiar hope because it doesn’t start with us but comes from the Holy Spirit. We can’t manufacture our own hope. It is given to us. As we read through God’s word, we can actually see hope on every page. That is because it is an inherent part of God’s grace. It is the grace he promises to us for the future.
So, hope is the posture that our faith takes. It is our trust that God will do what he says he will do, both in the past and the present. He wiped away tears from long ago and will wipe away every tear in the future. Well, that changes the way we live in the present, doesn’t it? In the midst of suffering, hope won’t allow us to despair. We can lament while we are hopeful.
I don’t have to keep asking God, “Are we going where you said you would take me? Are you keeping your promises?”
As non-perfect parents in a fallen world, we can’t always keep our word to our children. And we cannot expect others to never let us down, either. The ONLY person we can completely trust at his word is the one who has filled us with joy and peace so that we can abound in hope.
Indeed, our hope is in the One who will never disappoint. It is trusting in the future grace he has for us. And that brings me comfort and joy, even when we have a household of stomach virus and a skipped park day.
Take some time today to read Hebrews 6:17-20 and be encouraged that “we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope [God’s future grace] set before us.”