Word of the Week: Hope

WEDNESDAY

Word of the Week-

.hope.

 We use this word often, don’t we?  I really hope that ___. You fill in the blank!  In this way, the word actually seems like a synonym for wish.  After all, there is a possibility in this usage of the word “hope” that whatever we’re hoping for will not happen.  There is doubt present within this popular usage of hope.

But this is not the same meaning of “hope” that is present in the Bible.  In my Holman Bible dictionary, it states that hope is, “a trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises.”  Isn’t this incredible?  When we have hope in God’s promises, there is absolutely no doubt about whether or not He will fulfill it!  It’s God that has promised, and He doesn’t lie like man (Numbers 23:19).

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchangingnature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.                    Hebrews 6:13-20

 I hope this new look at the word “hope” and the previous passage will bring you encouragement and revolutionize the way you trust in God’s promises on this wonderful Wednesday!

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂

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Redefining Beauty

What does it mean to be beautiful?  We use this word so often to talk about a girl wearing a new outfit, McDreamy’s eyes, or a picturesque sunset.  I have struggled a lot with this issue, but God has been teaching me about what it means to be beautiful in His eyes.  Here’s the definition that we came up with:

Beauty is the value held for an object of Creation demonstrated through sacrifice.

Imagine a table that you sit at.  Before you came to know the table, it was a bunch of crude materials–wood, metal, etc.  Someone came along, though, and planed that wood.  Someone else operated the machine to make those screws that holds it together.  Before you were even able to use that table, people had to sacrifice their time, their health, and their own desires in order to make a table for  you to sit at, to use, and to enjoy.  That table, then, became beautiful the moment that someone sacrificed his own self in order to make it.  That sacrifice proved its value and worth, and that sacrifice made it beautiful.

Now think about your own self.  Not only did God sacrifice His time and His resources to create you, but God sacrificed Himself when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us.  There is no greater sacrifice in all of creation than this!  God allowed for part of His own self to come to this earth and be hated, mocked, spit on, crucified, and even separated from Him all for the sake that WE could have the hope of living with Him in Heaven.  If this–God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross and be separated from God’s presence so that we could have the hope of eternity with Him–if this does not make us beautiful, I’m certain that nothing does.

We will only become aware of our true beauty when we when believe Him when He says, “You are Mine, and You are My treasure.  You are precious and valuable to Me.”  We are beautiful because of God’s love for us, and this beauty is guaranteed and demonstrated by the sacrifice of His Son.  We are beautiful because we are His valued treasure.

It’s time to look in the mirror and to see your true beauty, maybe for even the first time.

It’s time to redefine beauty.

picture: mirror that says “Be a woman of true beauty”

“Do I really have hope?”

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?