“… but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
In thinking about the focus for the devotion, the thoughts kept coming to me about the major challenges of the past year, and how those have impacted our thoughts, expectations, and hopes for the coming year. As 2020 was coming to an end, a common theme of expressed wishes and hope for 2021 was that the year ahead would be much better for all of us than the very difficult year that we have just experienced.
In some miraculous way, everything would be back to the way we wanted it to be … back to “normal” when the crystal ball descended in Times Square to mark the beginning of a new year and a much better 2021 when our lives would surely return to normal.
As we are only too aware, that has not happened. In some ways, our lives have become even more challenging and concerning … the changes we had hoped for have not yet happened.
In a world and time in our lives when there is so much to discourage us, cause us to feel anxious, require that we adjust, and perhaps struggle to some degree with the fear of a loss of hope about the future, it is vital that we hold on to the wonderful truth that as Believers, OUR HOPE comes from God and from His promises through the Holy Spirit. We cannot be “socially distanced” from the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit. There are not now and never will be new restrictions. God is the same, “yesterday, today, and forever.”
NOTHING can separate us from His love.
HOPE is defined as having a “strong and confident expectation”, in contrast to wishful thinking.
There are just a few verses of scripture that I would like to share, replacing the word HOPE with the definition:
- [Isaiah 40:28-31] … “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak … but those who have “strong and confident expectation” in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
- [Romans 15:13] … “May the God of “strong and confident expectation” fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you overflow with “strong and confident expectation” by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
- [Psalm 31:24] … “ Be strong and take heart, all you who have “strong and confident expectation” in the Lord.”
- [Psalm 42:11] …”Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your “strong and confident expectation” in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.”
Isaiah 64:4 states the reality and reassurance that “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides YOU, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”
Regardless of what is happening all around us, Ephesians 3:16 reminds us that “God will strengthen our inner being by the power of His Spirit.”
“O God, our Help in ages past, our HOPE for years to come…”
Great is Your faithfulness!
Great is our confidence in YOU!
Great is our HOPE because of YOU!
Our thanks to Nancy Cornish for this devotion.