New Hope: What to do When You Need a Hope That Endures
We don’t have to lose ground to fear and discouragement any longer. Christ has given us a new hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
I love the story of Joshua and Caleb. In true Navy Seal style, they joined a group of Israelite spies to scope out Canaan, the long-awaited promised land God had called them out of Egypt to occupy. After an extensive clandestine exploration of the area, the cohort of spies agreed that this land was truly a haven of abundance and promise. However, there was one distinguishing factor that separated Joshua and Caleb from the remaining spies.
But the others said, “We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are.” They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, “We scouted out the land from one end to the other—it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.” (Numbers 13:31-33, The Message)
Caleb and Joshua responded differently:
...“The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14:6-9,The Message)
What was the simple factor that distinguished the courageous from the cowardly? Hope. Joshua and Caleb had the ability to push back fear because they embraced a steadfast hope that God would deliver on the promise he made.
Just like Joshua and Caleb, we too have a choice to make. Will our feelings, and ultimately our decisions, be stirred by fear or powered by hope?
Joshua and Caleb were different from the other spies. They had a surefire hope for their future that drove them to take hold of their promised inheritance. They refused to lose ground—literally—to fear, doubt or anxiety. We can all benefit from following their example. Whether it’s through doubt, fear, or a sense of looming doom, hope can slowly erode if we allow our minds to be a playground for the enemy. The antithesis of hope are discouragement and doubt. They are the enemies we must defeat.
As believers, we are called to be overflowing with hope. The Holy Spirit desires to stir up our hope until it is overflowing with confident expectation. The enemy seeks to drain our hope and keep us cowering in the shadows. When we were made a new creation, we were also given a new hope (2 Cor. 5:17). Hope empowers us to persevere and endure. It can pull us through the waters of discouragement and anchor us to the promise that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). Our hope was purchased on the cross and is a firm foundation to stand upon. Fear commands us to shrink back, but hope calls us to move forward, keep going, and put our faith in God once again. It is not a blind leap of faith, but the assurance of God’s good nature towards us. Hope is seeing the supernatural possibility in every situation, giants and all, in order to pull us into the promised land we were always called to inherit.
We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold (Hebrews 6:19, The Passion Translation)
Let’s get practical. What do you do when you need to regain hope? Take time to dive deep into all the hope Christ has called you to. Examine his promises, and like Joshua and Caleb, move forward with hope into your promised land!
THE COMING OF JESUS: Titus 2:11-14, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 John 3:2-3
THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODIES: Romans 8:19-25
EVERYTHING WILL BE MADE NEW: 2 Peter 3:12-13, Hebrews 10:23, Colossians 1:3-6
THE HOPE OF SALVATION: 1 Thessalonians 5:8
THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE: Titus 1:1-3, Titus 3:5-7
THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD: Romans 5:1-5, 1 Corinthians 15:17-19, Colossians 1:26-27
Listen here to Pastor Greg’s recent sermon on our hope in Christ.
Jesus, thank you that you have provided me with an eternal hope that endures through hard circumstances and the temporary realities of this life. I can have hope overflowing when I focus on all the promises afforded to me through your sacrifice on the cross. Help me to embrace hope so tightly that it overflows to those around me. Amen.