For the Christian, hope is one of those foundational beliefs—yet one that is difficult to define. To be honest, I hadn’t thought much about the meaning of hope until mental illness hit my family six years ago. Now hope has become a dominant theme for my life. Right now I’d say that hope (in Jesus and His promises) is the anchor of my soul.
My husband and I are members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and are working with national believers in translating the Bible for a language group in Myanmar. Sadly, in this staunch Buddhist community, there was no word for hope—at least not the hope written about in God’s Word. So, a compound word was created. The verb form means, “to wait expectingly (with anticipation)” and the noun form means, “the way of waiting expectingly.”
THE WAY OF WAITING
“The way of waiting expectingly.” I like that definition because, even though it defines the noun form, it implies action. I’ve learned that hope is neither a static verb nor a static noun. Being on “the way” means we’re on a journey that has a direction and purpose. It requires faith in something and an active determination to walk in that faith. For believers, that is faith in God.
A few months ago, I attended a week-long workshop on trauma healing and how the arts can be used to bring healing. One of those steps included the use of laments to cry our anguish and hurt to God.
There was a time in my life when writing a lament would’ve felt like I was doubting God. And yet, King David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote many laments. In Psalm 42, verses 5 and 11, David says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
|You see our lament to God is not an act of doubt but an act of faith.|
You see, our lament to God is not an act of doubt but an act of faith. We are not doubting the hope found in God but rather we are resting in that hope. And that is an act of faith, not doubt.
ANCHORED IN THE TRUTH
When my perspective of God is right, and I’m anchored to the truth, I am free to lament. I can cry out to God just like King David did, knowing that He is so much bigger than my problems, but also knowing that what He wants from me is honesty and humility.
The way of hope is the way of freedom. Hope in God frees us to live life to the full—to laugh more, to love more, to be more, as we persevere in believing that all the promises of God are good and true and trustworthy. This way of hope is the anchor of my soul.
“There is hope in the promise of the cross;
You gave everything to save the world You love;
And this hope is an anchor for my soul;
Our God will stand, unshakable.”
|Read more hope writings from our Hope Connections Authors|
Join the conversation! How has hope increased your faith?