Our Hope Comes From The Lord

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

Life is full of disappointments. When we create expectations from others or even from ourselves that aren’t met, we can become disappointed and frustrated. But our disappointments don’t end there. Things can disappoint us too. If we can’t get what we think will make us happy, we become disappointed; and if we get the things that we want but they don’t satisfy us like we think they should, we can also become disappointed.

Whenever we try to find our ultimate happiness in how the people and things around us live up to our own expectations, we will surely be disappointed because that’s how God designed us. In his book, Confessions, Saint Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” We really hope in God only when we become utterly hopeless about ourselves.

As long as we hold onto hope in ourselves, we may be said to be optimistic, but as J. I. Packer stated, “Optimism is a wish without a warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself.” 

The English mystery novelist and Christian apologist, Gilbert K. Chesterton, clarified our hope in God by saying, “Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless.” He goes on to explain, “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” 

I vividly remember the time when I lost the “job of my dreams.” I had no desire to move from the small community where I lived, because that’s where our friends were and we were deeply rooted in the church and in the schools our kids attended. Yet, I saw little hope that I would find a job nearby that would match my job skills and interests. 

I felt hopeless. But it was at that same time that my worship of God soared higher than I could ever remember. For I knew in my heart that God only had my best interests at heart, that He was the giver of every good gift, and that He had something better in store for us. My hope in God had never been greater. 

The Lord God is the source of our strength. There is nothing outside of His control. He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). Trust in Him alone. 

By Jim Connell

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