Ladies, have you ever gotten a delicate necklace chain in a knot and thought tossing it in the trash was the only solution? Gentlemen, have you gotten a fishing line so tangled that your only option was slicing and dicing it? When something is unintentionally tied in knots it can be frustrating, even infuriating trying to untangle the mess. However, there are instances where a tight knot is warranted. For example, tying up a boat to a dock or securing an airplane on the tarmac. In these cases, tight knots are vital. Another such instance is biblical hope. Over the last few weeks, we have discussed the biblical perspective of persistent, yet patient, hope and a secure trusting hope. In this third installment of the hope series, I want to talk about the hope that ties, binds and holds our lives together.
Psalm 71:5 says, “For thou art my hope, O God: thou art my trust from my youth.” The psalmist announces that God is his hope, his tiqvâ. Tiavâ is used 34 times in Scripture, and according to the Blue Letter Bible, 23 times it’s translated hope. However, the root word focuses on cords, literally cords of attachments. It also points to “thing(s) that I long for.” So, what is the psalmist saying? He has a hope, a cord of attachment, connecting him to God, the thing he longed for. Hope attaches and binds us to what we are expecting, to what we long for.
A cord can have many applications, but there is one cord that illustrates what the psalmist is imparting. It is the umbilical cord. This attachment cord brings blood supply, nourishment, necessary bodily functions to infants forming in their mother’s womb. In the passage of Scripture, the psalmist specifies “hope” as that attaching cord. It was the place he drew what he needed from God. Hope kept the psalmist connected to the One who gave him life. Jesus declared in John 10:10 that he came to give us abundant life. However, the life he gives doesn’t happen automatically. Keeping the connection is a prerequisite.
Tiavâ is from qāvâ, which means “to bind together, perhaps by twisting.” It also speaks of expecting, looking for, waiting, and gathering together. The effect of twisting tightens things. It draws items closer and closer together. We have an example of this in John 15:1-8. Jesus discusses the vine and its branches. In verse four, Jesus denotes that a branch must stay connected to the vine. A branch “cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you except you abide in me.” Abide is translated from the Greek word mēnô and defined “to stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy.” Dwelling, remaining, continuing, aren’t simply implied, they’re specified.
John 15:4 in the Amplified Classic Bible says, “Dwell in me and I will dwell in you [Live in me and I will live in you] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me.” Vital is defined “of, relating to, or the characteristic of life, necessary to the continuation of life, life-sustaining.” United is defined as “combined into a single entity.” So, to be “vitally united to the vine” creates a picture of life-sustaining one-ness with Christ Jesus – Him in us and us in Him. The connection must not be broken or severed for life to continue.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” The reality of life is that trouble and problems will come. Our stance on hope will be attacked. We aren’t promised a life without hardship, but the good news is we have the ability to overcome whatever the enemy throws at us with Christ. According to 1 Corinthians 15:57, we have been given the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture declares we aren’t supposed to allow the enemy to get the advantage over us, “for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
One of the ways the enemy attacks is through trying to defer our hope. Deferred is defined from Hebrew word māŝak. It means “to draw out, draw away, prolong, or scatter.” That is the enemy’s plan – he prolongs the manifestation of what we’ve activated our faith for. He scatters and draws us away from plans the Lord laid in our hearts in the attempt to defer our hope, a.k.a. expectation.
However, the cord of attachment, the hope the psalmist proclaimed had been instilled in him from his youth, refuses to allow deferment to transpire. Instead, it tightens and draws nearer to God. It remains vitally united, the connection securely in place, feeding on life giving nourishment coming from the vine, Jesus Christ.
May I encourage you today? Keep your hope, the cord of attachment, attached and engaged. Don’t allow the circumstances you’re facing to severe or defer your connection to the life-giving supply of the vine. Follow the psalmist’s example. Stay connected to God and expect an encounter with the God of hope, according to Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
All Scripture is from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.