A Thrill of Hope

by | Nov 26, 2023 | Uncategorized

Hope is a word we tend to use a lot. I use it a lot.

hope the Ice Cream Barn is offering their chocolate peppermint ice cream today.

hope my editor likes the manuscript I turned in.

hope that medical test comes back negative.

I sign my books “With Hope.” My brand tagline is “Finding Hope in a Story.” I guess I’m just an all-around hopeful person!

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation; a desire for a certain thing to happen. And as it turns out, hope is an important part of being human. Often, what causes us to get out of bed in the morning can be found in purpose and hope—an expectation that there is reason to get out bed.

But the hope we’re focusing on in the first week of Advent is a bit different. It comes from the Hebrew word yakhal, which means waiting. Or sometimes, the Hebrew word qavah, which has more of a connotation of tense expectation while you wait.

This is more than just hoping my favorite ice cream is waiting for me at the store. The Old Testament is abounding with these two words. The book of psalms is scattered with them. In Psalm 62, David says,

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from Him.

and in Psalm 39, we see the core of this biblical hope.

What else can I hope for? You are my hope.

You are my hope.

I love that. Circumstances might not look good, but David’s hope is not based on what’s happening around him. Instead, it’s based on the character of God.

All of this hope is looking to what God has done in the past. It’s not based on a hazy hope, but a hope grounded on who God has already proven himself to be. In the New Testament, Jesus’s followers fostered a similar hope. They had seen the miracles with their own eyes. They had seen his blood poured out on Calvary. And they had seen the empty tomb—that portal to hope that would sustain many, even many today. Their hope wasn’t foolish. It was based on actual evidence. It was a living hope, not only for humanity but for a future and complete restoration of a broken world. It’s a hope on what God has done in the past as a token of what will come in the future.

So, here, in our first week of Advent, we’re waiting once again. But it’s a hope-filled waiting. A waiting for another celebration of Christmas, yes, but a waiting for that glorious day when heaven and earth unite under a perfect Creator’s rule.  I don’t know about you, but that certainly gives me a thrill of hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

(Thank you to the Bible Project for helping me whittle down the Hebrew meaning of the word hope!)





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