Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Expectation, Hope, and Promise

Today is another snowstorm, school-cancelled, road-danger day in Southeast Michigan. Lots of events are shut down. But my heart is not. I am prepping for this Sunday's message out of Hebrews 10:19-15, which include these words: 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Hope. Which is: the mood of expectation that comes form a promise that something good is going to happen. As I study and meditate and pray on these words I expect God to do good things.

I expect. My life is mostly filled with expectation. "Expectation" is the mood that essentially characterizes hope. Hope is expectation, based on a promise that has been given. Real hope, attached to a promise that fuels the sense of expectation, prepares now for the promised, coming event. 

A husband and wife are said to be "expecting" when she is pregnant with their inborn child. The reality of this hope is their active preparation for the promised one to arrive. They create a space in their home for the newborn to dwell. They buy clothes and toys, they think and dream and pray. Hope, grounded in a promise, is always joy-filled.

Hope is differentiated from "wishing." "Wishing" is not attached to a promise, and hence is devoid of the sense of expectation. The wishing person is inactive. The person who wishes to win the gazillion-dollar lottery does not quit his job and sell his house. When no real promise is given, passivity reigns.

"Remembering " plays a role in "hoping." My spiritual journal, 3000+ pages over 35 years, is a record of God's activity in my life. This includes God-spoken promises to me, and promises realized. When I re-read and re-meditate on former journals I am filled with hope. I remember the deeds of the Lord in my life. I know that this God, in whom I have placed my life trust, makes good on his promises. I am then in a very good spiritual place.

A hoping person...
  • remembers the deeds of God in their life
  • remembers God-promises given, and God-promises fulfilled
  • makes God their trust today and each day
  • dwells on the promsies of God in Scripture
  • listens for God's voice, and promises given
  • is expectant
  • is active, since real hope always leads to present activity