My first meal in heaven…. : You may be wondering why I wrote that post. After all, it seems pretty random compared to all of my other posts. I wrote it, though, because it segues into one of my favorite words of the Bible. Hope.
Throughout the course of a day, we say hope quite a bit: “I hope we win the game,” “I hope that I didn’t fail that test,” or “I hope we can hang out this weekend!”
In each of those exclamations, we use the word hope, but what do you notice? Each time that we use that word, we are in a situation where oppositions–an team with a better record, a hard test, or a conflict of plans for the weekend–make whatever we are hoping for very unlikely to happen. Doubt is present, so we say, “I hope.” We know that it is unlikely, so we hope and wish for it to happen anyways.
But, this is not what the Bible means when it says hope…
My Bible dictionary says defines hope as,
“Trustful expectation particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s Guidance….
This contrasts to the world’s definition of hope as ‘a feeling that what is wanted will happen.’ “
Holman Bible Dictionary, pg 780
Notice that the Bible uses hope when speaking of a TRUSTFUL EXPECTATION and the ANTICIPATION OF A FAVORABLE OUTCOME. The word’s definition, though, is used only in regards to a feeling in the presence of doubt.
I say all of this to really say one thing about my last blog post. We all have different ideas about Heaven and our first meal with God. No matter what we imagine or wish it would be like, though, we all have one hope, one trustful expectation that compels us each day. Romans 5:2 says, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” In other words, we live with joy because we TRUST that He will be glorified there.
We only have one hope in our life. This hope IS NOT for how much money we’ll make, what car we’ll drive, or what team will win the game. If we truly have the Holy Spirit and God’s love in our hearts, that one hope–the glorification of our Heavenly Father in every area of our lives–will not disappoint us. Trusting in that one favorable outcome will even allow us to rejoice in our own suffering (Romans 5:3-5; see also 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Now it’s time to ask yourself one question. Do I really have hope?