May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Rom. 15:13)
As I ponder the situation in our world, I think about war and conflict in several countries affecting many innocent lives. I think of other problems worldwide that do not make the news but continue to be places of dire circumstances for people. Losing hope and becoming cynical of the world and humanity is tempting. Sometimes I want to find a place to hide and wish all the negative and horrible evil to disappear. Yet, the reality is, I can’t. Even if I did, I would eventually need to face life and our world. I’m not going through the difficulties that others are facing today. I am not watching my home be bombed and torn apart or lose friends and family. I am not in jail for my faith or, worse yet, killed for my faith. Yes, my reality of difficulty is present. When I overlook other circumstances, I can allow my challenges to become overwhelming.
Scripture tells us that hope is in God. God’s redemptive acts past, present, and even future provide us a foundation upon which we rely. As we look over history, we see believers in Christ trusting in God’s faithfulness and goodness during the good and bad times of life. We can look back at history and see similar evil present in the world, people dying for their faith, war, destruction, etc. The Lexham Bible Dictionary states, “Biblical faith rests on the trustworthiness of God to keep His promises.”
Psalms 9:18 tells us that the hope of the afflicted will never perish. We find different Hebrew and Greek words translated as hope. Some are expressed in verb form, meaning to “wait or to look for with eager expectation,” or noun representing the idea of expectation.
We all go through challenging times personally, and as we l look around the world, it is the same. I think three areas are helpful as we think about the circumstances in our lives, which is reality: trust, confidence, and faith.
First, in his book A Complete System of Christian Theology (1862), Samuel Wakefieldhas a chapter entitled “Love to God.” He developed three essential foci for believers to show their love to God. One of those is “trust.” I know I will say that I trust God, and he’s trustworthy. Yet, if I am truly honest with myself, I do not trust God entirely at all in some parts of my life. I need to work at trust because when I can trust him completely, it will create a stronger hope even under challenging circumstances of life. I Tim 1:1 states, “God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope.”
Second, confidence in God is essential. It is grounded in God’s very nature, action, and trustworthiness. It must rely upon God’s past, present, and future achievements.
Finally, faithfulness is the believer’s response to God and his self-revelation through His words and actions.
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23)
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ro 15:13.
 Ben Craver, “Hope,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Heb 10:23.
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