“I still have hope for things to change, but regardless, I want Jesus more.”
I sat across from my friend as chills went down my back. Her circumstances hadn’t changed, but her hope had been restored. You could see it in her eyes, hear it in her voice, even see it in the way she carried herself.
Have you ever longed for something? Like a heart-wrenching, all-consuming kind of longing? The kind of longing that leaves you having many vulnerable conversations with God? Well after years of desperately longing for God to come through, my friend sat across from me a changed person.
Nothing had physically changed, and the circumstances were still the same, but spiritually, everything had changed.
She explained that God had restored her hope. But what really struck me, is that even if he never came through with what she has desperately longed for, it wouldn’t matter, because her longing for Jesus is far greater than anything else she could hope for.
What a beautiful, vulnerable place of complete surrender.
Waiting for the Miracle: The Power of Hope
I know what it’s like to really hope for something. Like when God gives you promises of things to come and you must wait, desperately longing for the miracle and trusting that God is going to come through.
Proverbs 13:12 says ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ Waiting for the miracle isn’t easy.
Doubt can begin to creep in, as you start to question if you are even hoping for the right thing. Many times, I’ve found myself questioning if I’ve even heard from God correctly, or if I’m just caught up in my own desires.
But our God is the God of hope. Whenever I feel my hope wavering, I go back over the promises he’s spoken to me, the verses he’s given me and the testimonies of his faithfulness that I’ve seen and heard. To put it another way, when I feel my hope wavering, I come back to Jesus.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrew 10:23
We can get so caught up in longing for the miracle, that we forget to long for the Miracle Maker.
Related: Why it’s Important to Remember God’s Faithfulness in Difficult Situations
What is Biblical Hope?
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we have an eternal hope that one day we will spend eternity with Jesus. But we also have hope for our everyday.
Our culture has lessened the value of the word hope, as we throw it into conversations like ‘I hope you feel better soon’ or ‘I hope to see you soon.’ It’s become a polite exchange.
But God isn’t a God of just polite exchanges. The hope he gives us is so much greater.
Paul prays for the church in Ephesus that ‘the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you’ (Ephesians 1:18). God is not just sitting around waiting for the day Jesus returns, he is actively working in and through us, today and every day, to bring Heaven on Earth.
Biblical hope is not a shallow optimism that everything will just ‘be okay,’ but a deep, powerful belief that God is finishing what he started we he sent his son, Jesus, to reconcile himself to us (2 Corinthians 5:18).
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.Philippians 1:6
Related: What to Do When God Says No: A Lesson from Habakkuk
Dry Bones Come Alive: Restoring Hope
The Israelites knew what it was like to desperately long for God to come through.
God promised to take them out of captivity and lead them to the Promised Land (Genesis 15:18). In Ezekiel 37, God speaks to the prophet, Ezekiel, about how the nation of Israel had become like dry bones. As I was reading over this passage again, there was a part I couldn’t pass.
‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’Ezekiel 37:11
Their loss of hope caused their loss of life.
Life without hope is not life at all.
However, God wanted to bring them life, even before their circumstances changed.
God commands Ezekiel to speak a prophetic word over them (Ezekiel 37:4) and he promises to breathe his Spirit in them and bring them life (Ezekiel 37:14). God reminds them of his promise to physically lead them to the Promised Land, but he is also spiritually transforming them by restoring their hope.
It is the breath of God, his Spirit, that brings us life.
Fully Surrendering to the God of Hope
Hope can feel scary because it’s believing for something out of our control. But hope also brings full freedom because we must fully surrender to God.
There is something deeply soul changing when our hope is set in Jesus. Isaiah says that those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ (Isaiah 40:31).
We are called to the freedom we experience when our hope lies solely in the hands of our Heavenly Father. This is a freedom where we trust that his ways and plans are always better, as he fully knows us and fully loves us.
So, no matter your circumstances, hope is not lost. God has a divine and beautiful solution to whatever you need.
And even so, he is still good.
Let this be my prayer for you, as you learn to trust God and let him breathe hope into every situation in your life:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13
Eleanor Carpenter is a mother, wife and number one hype girl for women discovering their identity as daughters of the King. Unafraid to talk about the real and raw moments of life, she empowers women to embrace being fully known and loved by God. She is the founder of Fully Loved, which is a community that equips and empowers women to live spirit-filled lives to the fullest. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or through her website.
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