Hope is for the future
If you are hoping for something, that means you don't have it yet.
What did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut? A marine biologist? A bowling ball? (That was me, by the way. I think I meant a professional bowler.) Ask a kid that question, and you’ll get a host of different answers. But the idea is the same: Everyone hopes that he or she will become something in the future that they are not today.
But then, that’s what hope is. Hope is looking forward into life we haven’t lived and taking steps to achieve a goal we haven’t reached yet.
It took me a while to realize that having hope means you lack something right now. I love how Paul says it in Romans 8.
If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
Romans 8:24-25 (NLT)
Ah. The dreaded waiting process. I used to hate waiting, and in all honesty I can’t tell you that it’s something I love now. But I’ve made peace with it, because I know Who I’m waiting for.
So, what are you lacking today? What is missing from your life? Friends? A relationship? Peace? Wisdom? In our culture of instant gratification, it’s easy to rush out and fulfill those needs.
Need friends? Go to a coffee shop. Need a relationship? Here’s an app. Need peace or wisdom? Here’s a 5-step process in a blog post. I’m not saying that any of those solutions are bad, but if you are trying to provide for your own perceived needs using your own abilities, you’ll fail. When we try to fix ourselves, our solutions always fall short. Every time.
Why? Because we don’t understand the real problem. We can only treat symptoms.
So, yes, if you’re lonely, invest in friendships but acknowledge that your loneliness may be caused by a deeper need that only God can satisfy. The same is true for a relationship, for inner peace, for anxiety, for contentment, for any other issue we struggle with. And, frankly, there may not be a fast answer.
Sometimes you have to wait for what you don’t have yet. But if you want to have hope, you have to wait.
Questions for Reflection
What are you waiting for in your life today?
What does waiting with confidence mean to you?
How does waiting make you feel? Why do you think you feel that way?
Week 48 Memory Verse: