During late February, I was driving to work when I suddenly noticed: cherry blossoms!
I was so excited. I didn’t realize how ready I was for spring.
Winter was longgg. Gloomy, grey, rainy, windy. I practically choked up at the sight of those beautiful pink buds–the first hope of winter ending. Spring was around the corner. Green stalks were starting to sprout, crocuses and daffodils brightening the soil. Pale pink clusters graced the dark branches of once bare trees.
Those blossoms symbolized the season of sunshine, growth, and hope I was so hungry for, both in the weather and in my life.
And then COVID-19 hit.
I remember driving by those same blossoms at the beginning of the crisis, back when things were just starting to get serious. The cherry trees that had once embodied so much excitement seemed ironic to me. They almost mocked my enthusiasm and optimism from only a week or two before. The colors seemed dulled by the concern burdening my heart.
Maybe you’re a college student finishing the last quarter or semester online. Maybe you’ve lost your job. Maybe graduation is a big question mark for you. Maybe your engagement and wedding plans have taken a major detour. Maybe you’re super lonely. Maybe you’re insanely restless. Maybe you’re serving on the frontline of the healthcare system and are burning out. Maybe you or a loved one have or had the virus.
Our lives have come to a halt, and many things that were in motion or to come have been delayed or cancelled. In one way or another, we’re all experiencing or anticipating disappointment.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.Proverbs 13:12
I’m so glad this verse is in the Bible, because guess what?? A definition of “deferred” is postponed. How relevant and relatable is that right now?!
It’s SO hard when disappointment strikes. Even if we aren’t idolizing that thing we are excitedly looking forward to, the letdown can be difficult, even heartbreaking. Especially if we’ve experienced disappointment after disappointment lately.
Many hopes and dreams are dwindling under the shadow of this pandemic.
hope that lasts
Is it bad to hope, if it’s often so uncertain? I legitimately wondered this a while back. Hope seems so fragile, like those delicate cherry blossom flowers. I was almost afraid to hope for things. Was it better to not hope at all and be prepared for disappointment?
I wanted to know: what is biblical hope?
So I found about 20 verses on hope, which I cut and paste below. There are many more, but it helped me to get the bigger picture of what true, lasting hope looks like.
After each verse is my summary or reiteration, so be sure to click on the verses to see for yourself the pure beauty of these short but impactful Scripture passages.
Psalm 33:20-22 – hoping in the Lord, Who is faithful [FOR OUR HEART IS GLAD IN HIM, BECAUSE WE TRUST IN HIS HOLY NAME 💛]
Psalm 39:7 – what do I wait for? My hope is in You
Psalm 62:5 – my hope is FROM HIM
Psalm 65:5 – HE is the hope of all the ends of the earth
Psalm 71:5 – my hope, my trust … from my youth
Psalm 119:74 – people rejoice when they see me because I have hoped in YOU
Psalm 119:81 – My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114 – You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalm 119:116 – He upholds me according to His promise —> I’m not put to shame
Psalm 119:147 – I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
Psalm 119:166 – hoping + obeying
Psalm 130:5 – my souls waits for Him; I hope in Him
Psalm 130:7 – hoping in the Lord because of His steadfast love and PLENTIFUL redemption (wow)
Psalm 147:11 – the Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in Him
Proverbs 10:28 – The hope of the righteous brings joy…
Romans 5:1-5 – hope in the glory of God…character produces hope…hope does not put us to shame because of God’s love has been POURED INTO OUR HEARTS through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 – eternal encouragement and good hope
I love how my pastor put it:
Biblical hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised us.
We are discovering firsthand that we can’t expect anything right now. We live in a very uncertain time, wrought with disappointments.
For those of us who have put our hope and trust in God–the only source of true hope–we will never be disappointed. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, was anticipated by the people of Israel for years and years because they knew the promised Redeemer and Savior was their only hope from the brokenness of life.
And the people who gave their all to Christ in faith and surrender were never disappointed. We, too, have that confidence.
He doesn’t pull out the rug from under our feet. He doesn’t let us down. God is near to His people and brings comfort to us when we’re feeling crushed by our circumstances and brokenhearted from disappointments (Psalm 34:18). I pray that in the face of the various disappointments you and I are facing, we will remember the true hope that is found only in the Lord.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13