The word “hope,” often thrown about like confetti in our society, has a much deeper impact for those who have chosen to follow Christ. We hear statements all the time like “I hope you get the job,” and “I hope everything works out.” This type of hope is limited and meaningless, wishful thinking, really. What impact does hoping someone gets what they want really have on the outcome of their situation? By today’s standards hope is merely a feeling of expectation or a desire for a certain thing to happen. But if we go back to the root of the word in this verse there was an element of joyful expectation built in — not that it might happen, but that with God it could happen.
So why does the writer of Hebrews tell us we need to hold tightly and not waver in the hope we claim we have? I think we have to start with what leads us to waver in the first place. If we know that God is for us (Romans 8:31) and we know His promises are true (1 Corinthians 1:9), then why would our hope ever waver? In a perfect world without obstacles or evil, it wouldn’t. Yet Satan is a deceiver and as much as we hear God speak, the enemy doesn’t remain silent either. Hope brings a spirit of joy and expectation and life and the enemy wants to steal our hope and kill our belief and destroy our faith. So we must fight.
The first way we need to learn to protect our hope is by knowing Truth. Not everyone understands the difference between lies and deceit, but Truth is the counterpunch to both. It is important that we realize what it means for Satan to be a deceiver. Whereas lies are untruths, deceit is a manipulation of truth, and he has been doing it since day one. “Are you sure God really said that?” (Genesis 3:1) Have you ever heard that phrase in your own thoughts as you wonder if you’re on the right path or doing the right thing? When you hear that voice whisper, do you feel your hope waver? Strike back. Don’t let the hits keep coming. Jesus answered Satan with Scripture (Luke 4:1-13) and we must too. We can only do this when we know the Truth of His Word.
Another way we fight to hold onto our hope is to know God’s voice. Even if the words we hear sound similar, the dialect is drastically different. God’s intonation is seasoned with love, correction, and encouragement; Satan’s vernacular is loaded with regret, condemnation, and shame. When you know the voice of your Father you can more easily discern between Truth and truth that has been twisted. The more conversations you have with Him and the more time you spend in His Word, the more you learn His sweet, tender, and occasionally firm tone. Because He can see the things we can’t, the hits that are coming, He will always coach us in a way that gets us through the fight. He will be the one in the corner cheering us on.
We also need to be mindful of God’s character. He is trustworthy and He is a promise-keeper. He can be fully trusted to do what He says He will do. I tried to research how many promises of God are actually found in Scripture, but the results ranged from arond 3,000 to over 8,500! Since I didn’t have the time this week to count them myself, I decided to go with “countless!” He has so many beautiful things planned for each of us when we walk in His will, some for this life and some for the next, but each one is for His glory and our good. His character will never falter and it can be counted on in every situation. He is our firm foundation that keeps us from falling under shifting sand (Matthew 7:24-27). Fighting on a stable surface is how we keep our balance and center of gravity; it helps us to hold tightly to hope. If we don’t fall, we won’t lose our grip.
My hope for you today is that you find the strength to keep fighting for your hope. The hope that you have in Christ Jesus and the hope you have in His plans for you, that the enemy cannot steal it from you. That even if you believe you’ve lost a round, you realize you can get back up; the fight is not over.
- On a scale of 1 to 10 how is your hope doing today? Is it wavering or holding steady?
- Does your hope look more like the world’s way of wishful thinking, or are you more inclined to hope with the belief that God can? What steps can you take to grow your faith? (Maybe try reading the Deeper Study verses below!)
- How well do you know God’s voice? How can you differentiate between His voice, the enemy’s voice, and your own?
- Is God’s character something you are better understanding every day? What changes can you make in your life to know Him better?
Hebrews 11:1; Proverbs 13:12; Ephesians 1:18; Isaiah 40:31; Jeremiah 29:11 (see also Unexpected Surprises)
- Our Enemy
Ephesians 6:12; Genesis 3; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19; John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 11:12-14; John 8:44
- God’s Voice
John 10:27-30; Psalm 32:8-9; 1 Kings 19:12; Mark 1:11; James 1:22
- Promised Victory
John 16:33; 1 John 4:4; Joshua 21:45; Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 10:13