A Biblical Perspective on Hope ~ Pt. 2

Many in society dread the rising of the sun due to the new turmoils, disruptions and trepidations that burst upon the horizon daily. Unfortunately, fear is an ever-increasing nemesis in our society. One way we see fear manifested throughout society is the growing list of phobias people are identifying with. These phobias produce a perspective of hopelessness. However, God doesn’t want us overcome by fear, but rather, encourages us to place our hope and trust in Him.

Last time, we discussed the patient, persistent, and expectant waiting hope used 18 times in the Psalms showing it’s not what modern society defines as hope though. In today’s culture, hope is often categorized as “wishful thinking” or “pipedreams,” something that sounds absurd or impossible. There are several words for hope in the Bible and every root word explains and expounds biblical hope, while showing how it is gained and maintained. Today, I want to focus on the intersection between hope, trust and safety that produces clarity for a future of good things.

Hope Defined

Psalm 16:9 says, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Here, the psalmist David uses the Hebrew word for hope, which is defined as “security, safety and refuge.” We can see his reasoning for using this word by digging into the meaning. Safety, security, and refuge are the offspring of trust. Without trust, the sense of safety doesn’t exist. If safety isn’t present, then danger is. When danger is lurking, fear is rampant. Modern society frequently misses the connection between trust and hope, so they live in fear and danger. 

In the first verse of this chapter, David petitions the Lord for preservation. Preservation indicates that David needed protection from something. He identifies his trust as the reason for the request. Why trust? Because according to Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” Also, Psalm 118:8-10 says, “It is better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes, all nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.” David understood the hope and trust connection. There is security and safety in the name of the Lord. We can put our trust in Him too and receive the same results. When we are in need of protection, He is our refuge and fortress, according to Psalm 91:2. 

Hope’s Outcome

It becomes clear why the psalmist points to the gladness of heart and rejoicing in Psalm 16:9. They too, evolve from his trust in the Lord. The heart doesn’t rejoice or express gladness when fear or danger is present, other than when deliverance comes. The psalmist continues in verse 11, that the paths of life had been revealed because, “In thy presence is the fullness of joy.” In God’s presence, danger, fear, hostility, and hardship are non-existent. 

Additionally, Psalm 16:9 denotes the psalmist’s flesh, his body, rests in hope or “settles down, with the idea of lodging,” according to Strong’s. Combining settling down and lodging with the word flesh enhances the presence or sense of trust. It conjures the notion of a journey ending for the night somewhere the traveler feels at home. He feels safe and secure. The traveler trusts his surroundings. As trust and security are intertwined, tightly woven together, fear is repelled and expelled. There is only one element that expels fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Tormenting fear is bondage. Perfected love thrusts out fear. The outcome of hope is freedom, freedom through manifested love.

Hope’s Outlook

Hope looks through the eyes of love and a heart of trust to see a future different from our present circumstances. Hebrews 11:1 explains the process, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is the title deed of what we’ve expected, and faith is the proof of what we don’t yet see. According to Jeremiah 29:11, God has good, peace-filled plans, not evil plans for us. He intends that we enjoy “an expected end.” The Modern English Version says, “a future and a hope.” He hasn’t changed His mind. He still has a good future in store for those who will receive it. This isn’t to say we’ll be without difficulty or hardship, because 2 Timothy 3:12 says those times will come. However, God is assuring us that no matter what we face, He is in control, and He is good. Focusing on God’s goodness promotes hope. Focusing on turmoil produces fear.

Someone might conclude their troubles are too many, their pressures too great, their situations too far gone. However, I would beg to differ. No matter how bad or dire the circumstances, they are ripe for biblical hope. In Romans 5:1-5, the Apostle Paul says that pressures and troubles create endurance. Endurance brings about proof or experience, which produces hope and hope doesn’t make you ashamed. The circumstances may be great but having biblical hope changes everything. It trusts God, rejoicing in His presence. Hope exercises its faith, believing that what God said, the good He promised, will manifest. It sees the future God intends, a victorious end, and refuses to allow fear to steal it. When the dust from the battle settles, hope is the one standing with the victor’s crown. No matter what circumstances we may face, placing our trust in God engages the expectant hope we discussed last time. God’s not a man that he should lie, according to Number 23:19 and it’s impossible for Him to lie, according to Hebrews 6:18. We can put our trust and confidence in Him. 

May I encourage you today? Trust the Lord. Rejoice in Him. Settle down in the safety, security and refuge He provides. He has good plans that He is longing to share with you. The storms of life may roar, but that doesn’t change God’s goodness. Hebrews 6:19 says that hope is the anchor of our soul that is “both sure and steadfast.” So, why not take Him at His word and “rest in hope?” 

All Scripture taken from King James Version unless otherwise noted.