Wishing and Hoping

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight

I wasn’t much more than knee high when my grandmother Josephine taught me that poem. Like making a wish before blowing out birthday candles, I believed if I closed my eyes, thought of something I really wanted, and didn’t tell anyone, my wish would come true.

As we get older, we begin to hope for things that seem about as likely to happen as wishes on twinkling stars and glowing cakes. We say that we hope sickness would stop, leaders would lead, relationships would mend, and fighting would end. We hope, and we hope, and we hope some more, without truly believing those hopes will ever come true.

That’s the trouble with the way we use the word hope. We think it is synonymous with something we WISH would come true instead of something we KNOW will most certainly come true. Biblical hope in Jesus never disappoints. (Romans 5:5) It is a sure thing, an absolute, something we can count on! It’s a guarantee for Heaven’s sake! And aren’t we all looking for that? Our hope provides a confident assurance of God’s presence in times of trouble. It ensures our salvation through Jesus and confirms our destination. 

There are all kinds of storms raging around us right now. Some of us may even have emotional storms swirling inside. However, when we know there will be sunshine ahead, we can successfully, and even joyfully, endure a 6-hour drive to the beach in a hurricane (Yes, Ron and I did that last week)! 

Our short struggles here on earth can actually increase our faith and enlarge the hope we have in our forever home. This calm and reassuring hope can be the open door for someone looking for a better way to deal with their own turbulent heartache. Peter says, “If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15, NLT)

We can’t fully explain our hope without first explaining our faith. Faith powerfully fuses together what we believe about God and the trust we have in Him. 

We believe that God is who the Bible says He is. First and foremost, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8b) We believe that He can do what He says He can do. “I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm!” (Ephesians 1:19-20, TPT)

We trust that we are who God says we are! We are blessed, loved, chosen, holy, and adopted. (Ephesians 1:3-5) We trust that we can do what God says we can do. “God has made us to be more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything!” (Romans 8:37b) Don’t you love being on the winning team!

Now, close your eyes, think about where your hope lies, and then let others bask in the glow of all your confident twinkling and shining. 

“Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!”  (Romans 15:13, TPT)

Should I WISH or HOPE that you’ll go back and read that last verse one more time? 🙂

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