Friday, September 16, 2016

Expectation, Hope, Promise

Image result for johnpiippo hope
Church window in Columbus, Ohio.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Hope is: the mood of expectation that comes from a promise that something good is going to happen.

When I hope, I expect. "Expectation" is the mood that characterizes hope. Hope is expectation, based on a promise that has been given. 

Real hope leads to activity, because it is attached to a promise that fuels the sense of expectation. the hope-filled, expectant person 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 seen in 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 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 forty 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 promises of God in Scripture

·                listens for God's voice, and promises given

·                is expectant

·                is active, since real hope always leads to present activity