Hope founded in trust makes the way. Hope without trust isn’t hope as much as it is wishful thinking. You need trust to have hope, because we define hope as a concrete confidence and expectation that comes from a settled understanding of God’s provisions.
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My son wanted to go on a trip. I overheard him talking to his brothers about the idea he had put forward to his dad and me earlier.
“I sure hope they let us go.” He added when he had finished filling in his brothers.
His older brother spoke first. “What did Mom say?”
“Oh,” his younger brother said with glee. “She said we’d talk some more.”
His older brother laughed. “Yeah, you keep hoping. But that just means she’s already decided we won’t and hasn’t told you about it yet.”
Experience had taught my older son that certain words meant things beyond the surface, but my younger son hadn’t experienced the words in the way he had. So my younger son had hope.
Hope can’t be solidified without experience in the relationship. Until I know what to expect from your words and actions, I can’t trust in those words and actions. Until I can trust, hope won’t hold up.
When I was six years old, I kneeled by my bed with my dad next to me and asked Jesus to come live in my heart. I know this for two reasons: 1. My dad tells me the story often; 2. I had a New Testament with my name and the date written in it.
Over the years, I’ve read the Word my request was based on and heard teachings on the Word. I hope in my salvation because of the promises in the Word and because of the relationship that has grown up between the Father and me through the investment in His Word.
Trust doesn’t happen by accident. It comes from experience that provides a settled understanding of the promised results. You have to be invested in relationship to develop the trust that allows for the harvest of hope.
Hope Founded in Trust Grows from Relationship
- Know the person. You only get to know someone when you are invested in spending time together. My husband is not a fan of comic book stories made into movies or television shows. I know this because of our conversations over the years (and not just because of his annoyed sighs when we turn one on). He has his reasons, which I don’t agree with. And because I took the time to hear his explanations, I know how he feels – although he is wrong in this case. You have to be invested in getting to know God by making the choice to invest your time in God and with God. How are you investing in knowing God?
- Know the promises. You can only trust in what you know to trust. When I drive over the river bridge, I trust it will remain standing while I cross. The construction has held for decades. The government regularly inspects the integrity of the bridge. I trust in the promises that the bridge is safe. We have to know the promises of the Word even more than we know the promises of the world. The Word promises are unseen. The world’s promises are tangible. Take time to dig into the Word and write out all the promises offered there. What are the promises you stand on?
- Refuse to give place to the doubts. Once you know it in your knower without a doubt, doubt will try to find a way in. The bridge is a perfect example. I can imagine all types of scenarios if I let my mind go there. The world helps me along with its disaster movies. I have to keep the doubts at bay, or they will run out of control. In my daily life, I focus on the positives and let that focus help me keep the doubts, the what if moments, and the worries at bay. How much time do you devote to the doubts?
- Stay engaged. Relationship requires consistent and persistent investment. One talk won’t get you there. One meeting won’t get you there. One greeting won’t get you there. Relationship is built up one little bit at a time until a solid foundation stands in the place of those little bits. And once relationship is standing, trust follows. My husband and I had been married for a decade when someone I thought I could trust came to me and told me my husband was having an affair. My husband and I had been spending many hours talking, praying, and sharing. Because of our engagement, the doubts thrown at me from outside our relationship never had a chance to take root. We have to be consistently invested in engagement with God and His Word, so the doubts the world throws at us will never have the chance to take root. How are you engaged with God?
Trust comes with effort and experience. You have to be invested in the relationship so that trust can come up through the engagements in that relationship.
I absolutely loved my Chevy Chevette. Not only was it my first car, but I’m pretty sure you could fit 20 people in it (and I think we did on more than one occasion). But despite my life, I knew it would let me down. It wasn’t a matter of if it was going to break down. It was a matter of WHEN it would break down. I guess you could say I trusted in the car’s inconsistency.
I knew the car. When you know something or someone, trust grows from that knowing.
The key to living a life of hope is to be so invested in relationship with God that hope becomes founded in trust grown from that relationship.
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Quote of the Day:
“We have to be consistently invested
in engagement with God
and His Word,
so the doubts the world throws at us will never have the chance
to take root.”
– Kathryn Lang
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