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Active Hope

Psalm 147:11 Active Hope

EXPECTATION:   the act or the state of expecting: to wait in expectation; the act or state of looking forward or anticipating; a thing looked forward to; hope, trust; an attitude of expectancy or hope; anticipation: to regard something with expectation

A lexicon search of the Bible for the word hope yields twenty entries – 15 from the original Hebrew in the Old Testament and 5 from the original Greek in the New Testament. Each of these words translated as hope shows shades and nuances of the depth of hope.

 Hope is trust. Hope is confidence. Hope is secure. Hope is confident. Hope is bold. Hope is carefree. Hope is safety. Hope is assurance. Hope is sure. Hope is tarry. Hope is wait. Hope is refuge. Hope is shelter. Hope is abiding. Hope is expectation.  Hope is the thing that I long for. Hope is expected. Hope is faith. Hope is belief.

Hope is not a passive thing.  Like faith, it continues.

Hope keeps on keeping on.  With hope you keep on believing.  You keep on waiting.  You keep on expecting.  You keep on trusting.  You keep on abiding.  You continue in confidence.  You continue in security.  You continue in boldness.  You continue being sure.

Hebrews 11:1   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Substance:   that of which a thing consists; the actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; the essential part of a thing; essence; the tangible matter of which a thing consists; essential nature.

The author of the book of Hebrews tells us in chapter 11 that faith is the essential nature of hope.  Faith and hope are intricately intertwined.  In order to hope you must have faith that the thing you are hoping for will come.  In order to have faith you must have a reason to believe and that reason is hope.

Hope, like faith, must be active and alive or it will cease to exist.

Psalm 31:24     Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope (wait, expect) in the Lord.

Psalm 33:16-22     No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope (wait, expect) in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope (wait, expect) in You.

According to David in the Psalms, he’d rather hope in, wait for, have faith in, and expect that the Lord would deliver him than rely on a huge army full of mighty men and horses.  That’s quite a statement coming from a king well versed in warfare.

Can you imagine a great commander going before his men right before a battle and saying, “OK guys, look out over there.  You see that great throng of really big, strong, angry-looking men?  You see how ready they are for battle?  How bloodthirsty they look?  Look, even their horses are huge and angry-looking.  Do you see all their equipment?  Their armor?  Their protection?  Their weapons?”

“Alright now, that’s what they’ve got.  Now let me tell you how we are going to go into battle.  Let me tell you what we’ve got.  We’ve got FAITH.  We’ve got HOPE IN GOD and His mercy.  Our plan is to wait for the Lord.  He is our help and shield.”

If faith and hope are all you are taking with you into battle you better make sure they are active.

Psalm 38:15     For in You, O Lord, do I hope (wait, expect); You will answer, O Lord my God.

Psalm 39:7     And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.

The Psalmist asks himself, “If you have almighty God on your side and the hope of His help, why in the world would you be upset or worried?  Shouldn’t you be excited and praising God and thanking Him?”

Psalm 42:5     Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.

Psalm 71:1-6     In You, O Lord, do I put my trust and confidently take refuge; let me never be put to shame or confusion! Deliver me in Your righteousness and cause me to escape; bow down Your ear to me and save me! Be to me a rock of refuge in which to dwell, and a sheltering stronghold to which I may continually resort, which You have appointed to save me, for You are my Rock and my Fortress. Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man. For You are my hope (a ground for hope, an expectation); O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. Upon You have I leaned and relied from birth; You are He Who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of You.

I will hope continually.  I will keep on keeping on.  Keep on hoping.  Keep on praising.  Keep on believing.  Keep on telling people Who You Are and what You have done and what I know in my heart You are working on doing for me.

Psalm 71:12-16     O God, be not far from me! O my God, make haste to help me! Let them be put to shame and consumed who are adversaries to my life; let them be covered with reproach, scorn, and dishonor who seek and require my hurt. But I will hope (wait, expect) continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteous acts and of Your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is more than I know. I will come in the strength and with the mighty acts of the Lord God; I will mention and praise Your righteousness, even Yours alone.

Psalm 119:43     And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I hope (wait, expect) in Your ordinances.

Psalm 119:49     Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope (wait, expect).

Psalm 119:74     Those who reverently and worshipfully fear You will see me and be glad, because I have hoped (wait, expect) in Your word and tarried for it.

Psalm 119:81     My soul languishes and grows faint for Your salvation, but I hope (wait, expect) in Your word.

Psalm 119:114     You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope (wait, expect) in Your word.

Psalm 119:116    Uphold me according to Your promise, that I may live; and let me not be put to shame in my hope (waiting, expecting)!

Psalm 119:147     I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope (wait, expect) in Your word.

and I do Your commandments. This is not passive waiting.  It’s active.  I am waiting.  I am hoping.  I am expecting.  I am doing what You have told me to do. 

Psalm 119:166     I am hoping and waiting [eagerly] for Your salvation, O Lord, and I do Your commandments.

Psalm 130:5     I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope.

Psalm 130:7     O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption.

Hope.  Hope.  And continue to Hope.  Keep on hoping.

Psalm 131:3     O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.

Psalm 146:5     Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

Psalm 147:11     The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness.

There is a reason you hope.  It is the faith, the belief, the sureness that God Is Who He says He Is and will do what He says He will do.

Proverbs 23:18     For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.

Jeremiah 29:11     For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope (grounds for, a reason to expect) in your final outcome.

Lamentations 3:24     The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.

Lamentations 3:26     It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and deliverance) of the Lord.

One trend you may notice in many of the scriptures that mention hope is the need.  The desperation.  The peril.  You might be hard pressed to find a sunshiny scripture that says, “Everything is wonderful.  I have everything I could ever dream of and I need not one thing more.  Therefore I hope in the Lord.”    Hardly.

Instead you read, “Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man.”

“O God, be not far from me! O my God, make haste to help me! Let them be put to shame and consumed who are adversaries to my life; let them be covered with reproach, scorn, and dishonor who seek and require my hurt.”

“My soul languishes and grows faint for Your salvation.”

“I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help.”

Hope.  Faith.  Waiting.  Expectation.  Believing.  These are words of the needy.

Only the oppressed need hope.  Only the afflicted are looking forward to a better day.  Only those in need of a savior need to believe there’s one out there for them.  No one sits around waiting on or looking forward to something they already have.  If you are hoping for a new car and you get a new car you don’t continue to sit around hoping for one.  You go get in it and drive away.

If you need a new car and you are hoping for a new car and someone you have a great deal of confidence in tells you, “I am going to bring you a new car,” then you engage your faith.  You believe you are going to get a new car.  You expect to get a new car.  If you are actively waiting, actively believing, actively hoping, then you keep looking out the window to see if your new car is in the driveway.  You imagine what it will be like to go for a ride in your new car.  You talk about your new car.  You are excited about your new car.

You cannot say you have hope if you don’t believe.  Without active belief, active faith, active expectation – Your hope is dead.

Keep your hope alive by keeping it active.  Keep your hope moving.  Become a prisoner of your hope.

Zechariah 9:12     Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.

PRISONER:   captive; bound; to bind; restrain;

Be bound by your hope.  Be tied to your hope.  Never let your hope go.  Keep feeding it.  Keep tending to it. Keep watch over it.  Rejoice in your hope.

Galatians 5:5     For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.

<  Previous:  HOPE Is Our Refuge

Next:  Confident Hope  >

Jesus Is
Jesus, The Gift of God
Jesus Is Our Hope
HOPE Is Our Refuge
Active Hope
Confident Hope
Grow Your Hope
Praise God for the Hope of His Promises

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July 2013
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