What is the difference between hoping for something and hoping in something? We were talking about this very question this week at our MOPS gathering and it really got me thinking about how thankful I am to know Jesus!
See, when we can only hope for something to happen, as in, "I hope everything works out ok" or "I hope that someday I'll be able to achieve this goal", we are completely at the mercy of "chance" or "luck". This feels so haphazard and out-of-control to me! I don't want to leave my life and my family's well-being up to "chance"! I don't want to adopt a victim's mentality of just letting life happen to me. I want to know that everything has meaning and purpose!
Insert Jesus! When we place our hope in Jesus, we are acknowledging that He has a plan and a purpose for our lives! Wow! I am so thankful that the God of the universe has a plan and a purpose for my life! When I think about my life, I still have dreams and aspirations that I desire to see unfold. The difference is, as a Christian, I can know with certainty that everything in my life has meaning! Verses such as Romans 8: 28 (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.), Jeremiah 29: 11 (For 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"), and Psalm 33:11 (But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.) give me great confidence in the character and reliability of our great God! With this outlook, I can choose to trust God on the journey. I can be content where I am while still looking forward to good things to come. HOPE.
Jesus offers "REAL. HOPE. NOW." Jesus is living and moving and active and compassionate and involved and right here with me! Jesus loves me so much that He sacrificed His own life to reach out with mercy into my life! This is they type of mercy that I want to be dependent upon! When I consider the depth of the love that Jesus has already displayed for me, I can feel HOPE spring up in my heart! I can have confidence that my future is secure in the hands of Jesus!
When I heard this song, "Living Hope", I loved it immediately! It speaks of the great acts of love Jesus has already displayed to bring us freedom, joy, purpose, and yes, HOPE!
Take heart! Life is not an accident! Make the choice to put your hope in Jesus! He will transform you from a bystander in life, just wishing for things to work out in your favor, into a person filled with LIVING HOPE who has meaning and purpose!