O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:23-24)
Hope is encouragement. When we have hope, we rest firmly on God’s promises. We have hope because of who God is. No matter what is going on in your life, your relationships, and your community of faith, you can trust God is working. He is fulfilling his promises. Of course, our hearts and our willingness to obey are involved in the fruit we will see, but God’s will is God’s will, and God’s promises are His promises. He will stay true to His Word no matter what we choose, because He can’t be anything other than true to His Word. He is fully and sovereignly authentic, consistent, and reliable.
We have disappointments. Our lives aren’t perfect as we see them. We struggle. We feel lonely. We think we’re insignificant or not enough. Or we think we’re more than we are, and our pride gets in the way. We look at God’s promises and wonder where on earth He is and why is He not doing what He said he would do! Sometimes we misunderstand God’s promises, but most of the time, we’re trying to impose our own limited understanding or our assumptions and preferences onto God’s promises. He doesn’t promise we’ll understand everything. He promises to be who He says He is and do what He says He will do.
God has an eternal perspective. He’s not bound by time, and He’s not bound by the confines of life on earth. Exactly what God says is exactly what God means. We need to take God at His Word. We have hope because of who God is, who He says we are, and what He says He will do. God doesn’t give you insignificant, uncommitted lip service through His promises. He lives them out to completion.
We have hope in God’s love. We’re encouraged to accept God’s love and live it out loud. He gives us courage. He pours it into us. He gives us strength. God provides. He gives us His love and equips us to live it out. Need a reminder? Consider these verses from Psalm 119:
You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently. (Psalm 119:4)
Blessed are You, O Lord; Teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:12)
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. (Psalm 119:33)
May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word; (Psalm 119:41)
O Lord, I remember Your name in the night, and keep Your law. (Psalm 119:55)
The Lord is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. (Psalm 119:57)
The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O Lord; Teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:64)
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. (Psalm 1119:75)
Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89)
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your ordinances. (Psalm 119:108)
It is time for the Lord to act, for they have broken Your law. (Psalm 119:126)
Righteous are You, O Lord, and upright are Your judgments. (Psalm 119:137)
I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord! I will observe Your statutes. (Psalm 119:145)
Great are Your mercies, O Lord; Revive me according to Your ordinances. (Psalm 119:156)
Dear God, thank You for giving me the courage to love You and love others. It’s not easy. I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like at times, and when I do, I sometimes want to choose my convenience or comfort instead. But I choose You. Thank You for the hope You give me.