Wednesday, August 17, 2016
My parents taught me to never give up hope. My teachers inspired me to dream big. I still hold on to those ideals today, but when that job offer doesn’t come or the diagnosis from the doctor brings disappointment, I begin to ask myself this question. Am I hoping for the right things?
God knew we would face discouragement. He provided for those times by giving us verses like this. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13). The Word motivates us to keep moving forward when our situations seem hopeless.
But how do we know if we are hoping for the right things? How do we know if our big dreams are from God? Here are 10 hopes and dreams in the Bible. Let’s allow them to uplift us today and draw our attention back to the “God of hope.”
1. Hope for God’s promise fulfilled, against all logic.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” (Genesis 12:1-2).
God made an unbelievable promise to Abraham. Yet Abraham demonstrated hope in the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise. “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.” (Romans 4:18).
2. Hope to endure our suffering.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” (Romans 5:3-4).
Paul lived a life full of tribulation. Because of that, he could speak these Holy Spirit inspired words with confidence. God teaches us through the apostle Paul how rejoicing in our suffering will lead to strengthening our hope.
3. A dream to build something great for God.
“Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:” (1 Chronicles 28:2).
David desired to give God his best. Although he had good intentions, God directed David to pass the responsibility of building the temple to his son, Solomon. The gospel message kindles a fire inside us to dream big for God. Just like God had a special plan for David and Solomon, He has one for each of us too.
4. Hope for a better future.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
This well-known verse in Jeremiah comes in the midst of a warning. The Lord speaks to the prophet with strong admonition for His children, but also reassures them of His ultimate desire. God loves us and wants us to obey His commands.
5. Hope to reach the Promised Land.
“Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.” (Joshua 1:10-11).
After a 40-year trek, the Israelites prepared to enter the land God promised. He reassured Joshua with the words, “…Be strong and of a good courage; … the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (1:9). The path may seem confusing when we can’t see what’s ahead. But God will bring us to the place He promised, and He will be with us on the journey.
6. A dream for freedom.
“But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: ” (Genesis 40:14).
Joseph knew one day the dream God gave him would become reality. But first, he needed to trust God with one minor detail – he needed to get out of prison. The chief cupbearer Joseph spoke to in this verse may have forgotten Joseph, but God hadn’t. In His timing, the Lord released Joseph from jail and established him in a place of honor.
7. Hope to finish God’s assignment.
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24).
We serve in the local church, work full-time jobs, and raise families. We give to missions, support ministries, and volunteer our time. Sometimes we get tired, but Paul’s perseverance provides just the example we need. The good news of my Savior brings me refreshment and renewed hope.
8. Hope for Christ’s return.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3).
The disciples didn’t want to hear that Jesus would be leaving them. The thought of living life without Jesus by their side? It seemed too much to bear. But Jesus reassured believers with these words that still comfort us today. He will come again.
9. Hope for eternal life.
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2).
In Paul’s greeting at the beginning of Titus, he reminds us of the ultimate promise we receive when we choose to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. We will one day live forever with Him. Jesus gave His life so we could have that hope.
10. Hope in God alone.
“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.” (Psalm 39:7).
David’s song shares the answer to our question. When hopelessness threatens to take over, God is the definition of hope. Keeping our hopes and dreams rooted in God alone gives us peace for each new day. Let’s place our hopes and dreams in God with this assurance, “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5).