Our culture often defines hope as merely a fanciful wish or a casual desire:
‘I hope tomorrow is a better day.’
‘I hope to go to Disney World next year.’
‘I hope the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.’
Clearly, what is hoped for may or may not come to pass. The hope of believers, however, is more than a desire or a wish. It’s an unshakable confidence in God — even when circumstances give us every reason to doubt.
G.K. Chesterton observed that hope only has any real meaning when things are hopeless. ‘As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is a mere flattery or platitude,’ he wrote. ‘It is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.’
Parents must teach their children the difference between our culture’s view of hope and the hope we have in Christ. Hope is not mere optimism or wishful thinking; it’s an essential part of our faith. When we hope in the Lord, as mentioned 23 times in the Psalms, the following benefits await us.
Hope in the Lord gives us strength. Our culture teaches us to have self-confidence, but believers are to place their confidence in the Lord. When we hope in Him, we find the confidence and strength to face any challenge that comes our way.
Hope in the Lord teaches us patience. Society encourages us to solve our own problems. But when we face an impossible or hopeless situation, we must learn to wait patiently on the Lord. We do not need to be anxious or worried. We can find peace in God’s unfailing love for us.
Hope in the Lord brings encouragement. You know that feeling you get at the end of a long week? The anticipation of the weekend lifts your spirits. Now think about stretching that weekend out for eternity. We can find encouragement and joy amid life’s struggles because we know we will live forever with Jesus. That is why we are told to anticipate His glorious return (Titus 2:13).
Because of Jesus, we have hope both for this life and for eternity. Help your child learn more about our hope in Christ with the following age-appropriate activities and discussions.
•Hope is an unshakable confidence in God, despite one’s circumstances.
•Hope is essential to a believer’s faith.
•Hope gives strength, teaches patience and brings encouragement.
Family Memory Verse – Romans 5:5
‘And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.’
For a closer look at what hope means to the believer, read these Bible passages:
•1 Timothy 6:17
Copyright © 2012 by Ted Cunningham. ThrivingFamily.com