Hope can be a tricky emotion. It can open us up to the greatest anticipation, but can also lead to the greatest disappointment. This might be why parents or elders advise their children, “Don’t’ get your hopes up” in an attempt to save them from the crushing hurt of disappointment. After too many disappointments, it becomes easy to give up on hope entirely. But hope by nature does not give up that easily
A distinction needs to be made between hope and optimism. Optimism is the mindset of seeing things positively in an otherwise negative landscape and believing that things could take a turn for the better. Hope is more than just optimism. When we hope we believe that in the end things will turn out for good despite all evidence to the contrary. This is possible because hope is not focused on circumstances but rather in whom our hope is placed, “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7).
There are many things that seek to discourage us: health problems, political landscapes, career setbacks, familial tensions, and unanswered prayers. While these situations are troubling and can make us lose hope, God has given us promises in scripture to rely upon. These promises encourage us to wait on God’s timing, all the while remaining hopeful in His goodness and faithfulness, “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:18)
Remain hopeful. Remember how God has shown Himself faithful in the past. And know that He will be faithful again. All we need to do is wait and hope.
“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)