Hope that Never Disappoints
This is Day 9 of 31 Days of Hope-filled Living. To start over with Day 1, click here.
“… always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.”
For then you will perceive what is true wisdom, your future will be bright, and this hope living within you will never disappoint you.
If we pursue and perceive God’s wisdom, our Hope is unbreakable.
The book of Proverbs was written by the “wisest” king in Judah’s history. I put that word in quotes because later in life, after having married or concubined over a thousand women, he gave up on God and called everything in life “worthless”, but it’s a fair enough assessment, given that he prayed for wisdom and God said He would grant it. Some people credit the wisdom of Proverbs to Solomon, but I lean more toward the idea that the Holy Spirit was working through Solomon’s mind and words to give him “God’s smart ways of living” for the people of his kingdom. The good news is that most of the smart stuff that applied to that culture in that time period is still pretty relevant to our society today. It is helpful to use some of the original context to help us apply it appropriately, however.
If we take the Hebrew word for hope in both of these verses above, it’s the same term, tiqvah, which means cord or rope. I’ve discussed this before, but as a reminder, our hope is like a cord that connects our current situation and identity with our God-filled, and thus good, future. It keeps pulling us forward in time and holds us tethered to that reality, as opposed to attaching us to our past. And if we look at the words for “be disappointed” in both verses, they are the same Hebrew word, karath, which means chewed; completely cut off.
“All [people] relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation.”– Matthew Henry Commentary (regarding what it means to perceive true wisdom)
C.S. Lewis was an influential theologian and author of many fiction and non-fiction books long-favorited by the modern church, but he resisted Christianity for many of his young adult years. Once a staunch atheist, Lewis was a highly educated, well-read philosopher and thinker in his academic sphere. When he had come to the end of his literary/philosophy education, he concluded that the writers and thinkers he aligned with most just so happened to be Christians, which irked him. He thought, “I could really follow after these folks and their ideas, if not for their blasted ideas about God and faith.” (my paraphrase) Only after coming to that conclusion did he realize that perhaps it was BECAUSE of their faith that they held so much joy, wisdom, and hope that he wanted desperately for himself. And it was after this thought that he began to seriously consider becoming a follower of Christ Himself. The hope that cannot be cut off is the hope that comes from the wisdom of knowing God, and the beginning of wisdom is the fear (reverence) of God.
Do you see how the circle flows?
I have a desire to be smart, or maybe just to look smart to others. When God sees fit to humble me, I catch a glimpse of true, Gospel-wisdom. It’s in these moments that it ceases to matter how much I know and becomes imperative that I know Jesus. That I understand His love and His grace and His power to make me more like Him.
Have you been there too, Sweet Reader? Have you come to the end of your knowledge, only to understand the wisdom that leads to Him, the wisdom that leads to hope? Have you put your hope in something other than Him, only to have it cut off, as if it was a rope chewed by a rodent’s teeth? Let the verses above be a reminder that your hope can never be cut off if it is based on knowing the wisdom of His love.
Hope How-to: Take inventory of your understanding of the Gospel, and try to explain it as if to a fifth-grader. Remind your heart what God’s love did for you, and where you might be without His grace. Read through one of the Gospels in the New Testament, or listen to one in your Bible App. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a full understanding of the wisdom that comes from understanding who God is and what He has done for humanity in His love.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray for my reader today. I ask that you give her a deeper understanding and a full wisdom of the Gospel so that she can be assured that her hope will never be cut off or disappear. The hope you give us is eternal, and unbreakable, and I ask that you would give us a fuller understanding of your grace to fill our hope like a balloon, tethered to Your very hand. Thank you for giving us the wisdom we need to know You, to receive Your love, to feel your Grace, and to accept your gift of eternity. May our hope be found in the wisdom you provide.
If you’re finding hope here in my Nest, I hope you’ll slip your email into the box today. I promise not to spam your inbox, and you’ll receive a FREE printable Daily Guide to Hope so that you can have more wisdom about God’s love, and more confidence in your hope that will never disappear.
With love from my Nest,