The Lord is a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Joel 3:16
We who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us. We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. Hebrews 6:18-19 GNT
Diane and I were married at the Chapel of Hope at Southeast Missouri State University in my hometown of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The chapel had a beautiful cross in the front in the shape of an anchor with the text from Hebrews 6 carved into the wood. “Hope,” says the writer of Hebrews, “is an anchor for the soul.”
Morgan Freedman’s character in the movie Shawshank Redemption would disagree. “Hope! Hope is a dangerous thing,” he says. In effect, don’t get your hopes up. Don’t allow yourself to look too forward to anything good. Keep your expectations low. Don’t hope for much. It’s good disappointment insurance, but it’s also a recipe for a flat and lackluster life.
Hope anchors our souls. It keeps us from crashing in hopeless despair. It prevents us from getting too close to the rocks of mediocrity. It enlivens our hearts. Solomon says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Take away hope and you will plod through life as an automaton. That’s not life.
Hope pursued, however, can be dangerous. That’s why God not only gives us hope, but also provides safety and security in his care and keeping. For sometimes our hopes are not immediately realized. Sometimes we must face disappointment and deal with discouragement. God welcomes us in those times, and gives us a stronghold of safety and security.
Your hope may be for children or grandchildren one day. You may hope to become debt free. A new job may be the focus of your hope. A major vacation or bucket list trip may pull you forward. Those are all good things. But God’s offer is for a hope based in an eternity of bliss and joy, life and salvation. That is not to minimize your earthly hopes and dreams.
Perhaps, however, we may need to remember that the very best hopes we may have which we may even realize are but a dim reflection of the hope that will be fulfilled that is centered in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and coming on the Great Last Day. Christian hope anchors us to that eventuality, and encourages us to move through life expectantly.
Hope: Hold On Pray Expectantly!