Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
To say “I hope so” means you strongly desire a particular event to happen. This is very different from the biblical definition of hope. The biblical definition could be described as confidence in God’s favor or God’s best.
Are we confident that God’s best is going to happen in our lives?
Many have little hope.
- Are we resolved to failure in some area of our lives — that we will never break some bad habit, or maybe that we will never get into good physical shape?
- Are we settling for disappointment — that we will never have an intimate relationship with our spouse, or never have a good job?
- Are we lowering our expectations of God’s blessings — that we will never be out of debt, or our ministry hopes will never happen?
Jeremiah 29:11 (above) declares that God wants to give us confidence that his best is coming to us.
In 1Samuel 30, David and his army returned from battle and came to their city to find it burned, and all of their family members and possessions taken captive. “So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep” (v.4). To make matters worse, there was talk of stoning David (v.6).
But David does something remarkable. “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” That is a good example of hope. Instead of focusing on his circumstances, the loss of his family and the threats to his life, he focused on the promises of his God. David went on to recapture all of the family members and all of their stolen goods.
Can hope be dangerous? Yes. Hope can lead to more disappointment if we put our hope in the wrong thing. If we put our hope in people (including ourselves) or circumstances, we will be disappointed. The only thing we can put our hope in is God alone. He is the only one that is able to keep promises without faltering. We even must be careful to not put our hopes in the blessings that God gives us. It must be in God alone. We can have confidence that anything that is taken away from us is only for our good. Even good things can be taken away – but will always replaced by far better things.