Chin-up, it’s time to raise your hopes.
Hope could best be defined as the “confident expectation of God doing Good in your life”.
Simply put, without expectation, you have very little chance of ever seeing the dreams and desires of your life come to pass.
Let’s look at Abraham’s life from the Bible. God promised him a son. But the promise took a little while to come to pass.
There were a few other perceived setbacks in the process. Abraham and his wife were REALLY old, and in practical terms, their bodies were beyond childbearing years.
Abraham waited until he was 100 years old before he saw his promise from God. Can you imagine how discouraging it would be waiting day in and day out until you were 100 years old to see the promise that God had for you?
In the end, God blessed Abraham far and above Abraham’s expectations.
But…Abraham maintained his expectation that God would do something good.
Abraham never lost hope, and he was always expectant of God’s faithfulness.
Romans 4:18 says:
Against ALL HOPE, Abraham IN HOPE believed and so he became the father of nations.
“Against all hope” meant that when all the circumstances and life issues made it look like the promise would never come to pass…he didn’t lose the expectation that good was coming.
Based on this, I think there’s a few things we can take away from ‘ole Abe’s’ story to help us in our own journey:
- Get a promise from God. Be persistent until you get one.
- Keep the promise (the vision) in front of you
- Remind yourself regularly that God is always faithful to His promise.
Expectation gives you strength when things don’t seem like they are working out, but also gives you joy for the good things that are ahead.
In the hard times when you think it’s not going to work out, allow your mind to stop focusing on what’s not happening, and instead, create a vision for the future.
For example, if you’ve always wanted to have a baby, and things haven’t worked out yet, go to the bookstore and read magazines about parenting, or go to the hardware store with your spouse and pick out paint colors and themes for the baby’s room.
If you think this is crazy, I understand, but in essence, that’s what Abraham did. God’s original promise was that Abraham’s descendants would outnumber the stars.
So, what did Abraham do on the hard days? I think he went and tried to count stars at night, knowing his family heritage would exceed the picture in front of him.
When I had cancer, I would routinely make myself envision my children at their future wedding, or picture myself holding my future grandkids.
Guess what? It works.
It’s not easy to always believe in something when you can’t see it. But think about it this way…you still know the sun is there even when it isn’t shining, you still believe in love even when it can’t always be felt, and you still believe in God even when he is silent.
So even when you can’t see the promise right in front of you, remind yourself of the faithfulness of God and be expectant of the amazing things he has for you.
I’d love to hear from you. What are you expecting?