“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will raise their wings like eagles do. They will run and not get worn out; they will walk and not get tired.” Isaiah 40:31
It’s remarkable how hope can give you strength and endurance. You know, in my neighborhood the ice cream truck comes by from time to time. Now, it’s possible that one hot summer day my kids might randomly think, “Maybe the ice cream truck will come by soon!” and then go watch for it outside. If they did that, though, I bet it wouldn’t be long before they gave up, came back in, and started watching TV or something. You see, in this case, they would have had what we often call “hope” – wanting something to happen whether or not it’s likely or certain. It’s like when someone hopes they’ll win the lottery.
In the verse, we just read a minute ago, sometimes the word “hope” is translated as “wait.” And that’s definitely a part of it – waiting upon the Lord. But in the Biblical sense of the word, there’s also an idea of expectation. We’re hoping, waiting, and watching, not for no reason but because we expect it to happen.
So, this time imagine that I call my kids together and say, “Hey guys – the ice cream truck is going to come by after while. Here’s some money; go outside and wait for it!” They would wait in the heat much longer if they were confident in what their father said. It’s not hope based on random desire; it’s based on a word from someone they trust.
Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we don’t see, we await it with patience.” It doesn’t take any faith for me to believe God has provided me with a job, a wife, or a family. Do you know why? Because I’ve already got a job, a wife, and a family. But there are other things in my life that I’m waiting to see manifest that I don’t see yet. But because I know God is a good father who will honor his word, I’m not just waiting and hoping without assurance; I’m waiting with confident expectation. That confidence in my Father’s word gives me the strength to keep waiting.
Sometimes knowing your trial is going to end brings almost as much relief as when it ends. Despair – the loss of hope – makes any bad situation worse. But, if you were depressed and I told you, “Tomorrow you’re going to be happy again,” your depression would instantly begin to lift because I restored hope to you. If there were a war going on and someone came and announced that a peace treaty would be signed in one week, the people of that nation would begin to rejoice as if the war were already over. That’s the joy that comes from hope. And you know what? The joy of the Lord is your strength.
I want to encourage you today to put your hope in what the Lord has said. It’s not about pie in the sky and winning the lottery; it’s about believing that God will do what he says – even if it takes longer than you thought it would. Don’t let the power of hope be extinguished in your life. Keep walking, keep running, raise your wings like an eagle. Those who hope in the Lord will not be disappointed.