This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope…..
I admit that I do not remember many details from the myriad of lectures I listened to throughout my seminary years. Mostly I remember the general principles conveyed. But one detail I remember is this: When someone comes to you for pastoral counseling, ALWAYS help them leave with hope. God is a God of hope. There is ALWAYS hope in Him no matter what the circumstances may be. Sometimes I too need reminding of this bedrock truth.
Hope is a necessary ingredient to life. When hope fades or is abruptly taken away it doesn’t take long to sink into despair. We cannot live without hope. But what IS hope? It is just a positive attitude we have to muster up? I hope tomorrow is a better day kind of thinking? I don’t think so. Hope in the Scriptures is much more.
Hope in the Bible is defined as confident expectation. It is confidence grounded in fact. That ground of fact is the nature and character of God, who is called the God of hope (Rom 15:13). When nothing and seemingly no one is dependable in life, when the circumstances of our lives aren’t giving us our needed sense of security, there is One in whom we can find the hope we need. God desires to give us this inner stability that we each so desperately need.
“It is true that my little boat rolls heavily on the surface of the waves, and often makes me feel very ill; but under those waves is the firm ground of Reality, the Life of God. This sense that beyond all appearance we depend utterly on the Goodness of God, and can depend on it – this is Hope.”
Concerning the Inner life by Evelyn Underhill, p. 126
No matter what is going on in our outer world, God intends for us to have hope in our inner world. We can have confident expectation in His goodness and love for us. That is not an empty wish. Our confidence is in fact, the firm ground of Reality. We are held in the love and goodness of God. The quote from the prophet Jeremiah continues:
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him. Lamentations 3:21-24
We can have hope in God no matter what is going on in our lives. He holds us secure in His good and unfailing love. All His plans for us are good. All His thoughts toward us are good. All His work in our lives is good, flowing from His heart of love and compassion. We can have confident expectation as we look to Him this day.