Monday, September 21, 2009

Is There Any Hope?

It’s been raining so much lately in our area – southeastern Tennessee and northwest Georgia – I’ve heard rumors of renaming the region “Seattle East.” I’m not saying it’s been wet, but even fish in Chickamauga Lake are buying bath towels. One of my neighbors has started building a big boat – he asked how long a “cubit” is.

I’m not sure about the link between dampness and toadstools, but we have world-class crop of them growing in our front yard. And I discovered a water moccasin draped across my car’s front window – a “windshield viper.”

In recent days so many people have said, “I hope it won’t rain tomorrow,” it has morphed from wishful thinking into genuine pleading. We hope to see the sun again, but when we do, we might confuse it with an “unidentified flying object.”

What an interesting word: Hope. For instance, I hope the Ohio State Buckeyes continue rebounding from their loss to Southern Cal. I hope the New York Yankees finally get back to the World Series this year. I hope to avoid any unexpected major expenses in the near future. And I hope my family and friends all stay healthy.

When saying “I hope,” however, it really means I desire or wish for something to be so. It’s not something I can control, but it’s a "hope-so."

Biblical hope is something quite different. When the Bible speaks of “the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) and “the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7) – it refers to confident assurance, an earnest expectation based on the nature and character of God; genuine faith, not wishes anchored in “hope-so.”

As Romans 15:13 promises, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him."

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