Hope for 2009


That word is thrown around a lot as we roll in to a New Year.  But what is it, really?

Webster defines it as: “to cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of obtainment.”

It can be used in a sentence like:

“I’m hoping that our house will sell soon.”

 “Nicole is hoping that Mark will take her to the symphony next Friday.”

Notice the use of “desire” in the definition.  I think it is fair to assume that any discussion of hope cannot be made without touching upon desire. For what is hope but desiring our desires? Or, put another way, hope is desiring the arrival of our desires. This is why “hope” is often used interchangeably with “wish”. 

“I’m wishing that our house will sell soon”.

“Nicole is wishing that Mark will take her to the symphony next Friday.”


You don’t really know if your house will sell or if Mark will ask Nicole to the symphony.  All you can do is wish really hard. As you can see, this hope is very limited and can even be frustrating, because it is, in reality, only a wish.

Sometimes that wish is but a delusional fantasy; other times it is a good hunch that turns into reality.


Now that we’ve covered that, let’s look at the use of the word “hope” in Scriptures. But first, Webster has another definition for us.  Hope can also mean: “trust; to expect with confidence.”

“Be strong and take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness…let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You.” Psalm 33:18; 22

“For I hope in You, Lord; You will answer O Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15


In the first section on “hope”, we substituted “wish” for “hope”. 

Look what happens when you substitute “trust” for “hope” in these verses.

We trust in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)

We have complete confidence in Him and His characteristics. 

(Psalm 33:18;22)

We depend upon Him, and we know that He will answer. (Psalm 38:15)

So as you see, there are really two faces of hope: the shallow yearning for our wishes and the deep trust in our Lord. 

Like wishing, shallow hoping is limited by, and perhaps even defined by, uncertainty.  We hope the store hasn’t closed because we don’t want it to have closed, but we don’t know if it already has.  We hope that things will go our way, but we’re not sure because we don’t control them.

This hope is built upon desire, not certainty.  The modern use of the word “hope” is simply “I really, really, want this to be”.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t go very far and feels empty after a short time.

But the deep trust is a limitless and freeing hope.  Why? Because it is not grounded upon the uncertainties of our desires, but upon the certainties of our God.  When we place our hope in the Lord, we are essentially saying that we are pinning everything upon Him, we know He will deliver upon His promises, and we trust His love completely.

Look at the difference between those two hopes!

One hope is limited, frustrating, and basically useless.

The other is limitless, empowering, and gives courage.

Psalm 28:7 shows this attitude of true hope:

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” 

So as we approach this new year, we can say that we have great hope for the year.

Not because we are pretty sure our wishes will come true.

Not because we really want things to go our way.

Not because things will necessarily get much better in our world.


No matter what may befall us this year, our hope shall not be stifled.

God will be faithful and will uphold His people.

God will be near to us, even though friends and family may leave us.

As we seek God, we will see His will, and He will give us the power to do that will.


Those are our hopes for 2009.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

This is our resolution for the new year-bold confidence in our Almighty God!

Published in: on January 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love this poem, Alex. You are quite a good writer. It was really sweet of you to take so much time with Barret last night. You are such a sweetie!

  2. That is awesome….word pictures and also very accurate. Warmed the cockles of my heart…..whatever they are….wait aren’t they shells?

    Good Stuff!

  3. Once again … great thoughts! Thanks for distinguishing between the two kinds of hope. It makes me think of a “situation” in my life right now. God brought this cool friendship into my life a few weeks ago … with a boy, yes. (You know of whom I speak) 😉 … And things are progressing. Not in a way that surprises me … but in a way in which I must H O P E in the Lord. Am I going to wish, wish, wish? To have petty desires? … Or am I going to put the “situation” into God’s hands and trust (hope) in Him for HIS plans? I’ve been working on the trust … rather than the wish … but it’s a good thing to ponder. Thanks!

  4. Alex,

    Great contrast!
    Like many things…. one hope is real and
    the other is counterfeit.

    My hope is built on nothing less
    than Jesus blood and righteousness.

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