At the beginning of last Fall, my family found ourselves needing to find a new place to live. The house we had been renting at a low price for the last 9 years was being put up for sale and we had to move. The housing situation in our area was a bit precarious, with high rent prices and even higher sale prices, so we weren’t sure what we were going to do. With housing prices that seemed out of reach and not very many houses on the market to begin with, our situation didn’t seem to have a good solution. We were faced with a situation that we certainly did not know how to solve–all we could do was pray and hope in the Lord to bring us the right place to live in the right time.
Sometimes we are afraid to hope…to let go and trust that everything is firmly in God’s grasp. Hope can be difficult when we live in a broken world that is filled with disappointments. But hope, true hope, is found in trusting in the Lord. Though hope in the things in this world may have brought disappointment, we never have to fear putting our hope in the Lord.
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Psalm 25, in the words of King David, says that those who hope in God will not be put to shame. Usually when we hear the word “shame” we think of humiliation or embarrassment, but “shame” in this verse refers to being let down or disappointed, meaning that if you hope on the Lord, He will not let you down. Some translations use the word “wait” or “trust.” In other words, no one who waits, hopes or puts their trust in the Lord will be let down. He is SO trustworthy–we never have to fear placing our hope on our Lord!
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Now that doesn’t mean that as a Christian you will never be disappointed. Instead, it means that as you wait actively on the Lord and hope in Him, not in what He will do for you, but confidence in who He is, then you will not be disappointed. Sometimes we make the mistake of focusing on the thing we want or need most, instead of focusing firmly on the Lord. We can actively participate in hope through our prayers lifted up to God, asking Him to teach us His ways and to guide our hearts toward His will.
The Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary describes hope as “the eye of faith which looks forth clear and fixedly into the future.”
While we didn’t know where we would land or how it would be possible to make getting a house a reality, God knew. We trusted in the fact that God already knew our future and had it all under control. We may not have been able to see it yet, but He could. He knew how our situation would all work out and He was actively bringing it all together for our good. We had faith that God would take care of us and we didn’t need to fear (although, I must admit it was still stressful at times for this “must-plan-everything” gal!).
So, we actively stepped forward in faith and took the steps that we knew to do, and God led and guided us to just the right house. In His loving kindness, God provided all we needed to make buying the house a reality. Things came together in ways that still blow my mind when I think about it! It had God’s fingerprints all over it!
Sometimes we must wait a long time for what we hope for to happen. It can be difficult to always see where and how God is working in our lives and in our situations. Even in these times, we can have confidence in who God is and that He is indeed working on our behalf to bring about good in this world and in our lives. Biblical hope is an active waiting with confident anticipation.
In Psalm 23, King David is appealing on behalf of all of us in his prayer, that we might not be ashamed of our hopeful expectation, by the delay, or the denial of what we ask–that as we wait on the Lord in worship, trust in His love, seek and experience His presence, and look ahead to salvation in Jesus, we will not be put to shame.
Maybe you have been waiting in hope for a long time for that job, a spouse, a child or a realization of a dream. If you are weary in waiting or lacking in confident hope today, I pray that you will hear these words prayed thousands of years ago by King David, that were prayed for you as well, and be encouraged. Even if you are unsure on how God is working, you can be confident that He is a God who loves you more than you can even imagine and has wonderful and amazing plans in store for you! Hold on to hope in God and His promises–it doesn’t disappoint!