The Joy of Hope

Posted in: Hope, 0686
By Dr. Larry Ollison

The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Sometimes when things look hopeless, in reality some of the perceived despair could simply be because we’re taking some things way too seriously. While it is true that there are many situations that have no humor to them, we must never forget that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Strength is needed in times of battle. The ability to laugh in difficult situations reveals at least a spark of hope from within. Of course, humor and joy aren’t the same, but it is difficult to have humor if we have no joy.

Fighting the good fight of faith is a battle. But here’s the good news: when we fight the good fight of faith believing and acting on what God says about us, we always win! No matter how horrible or desperate the situation may be, a little laughter, or something funny can completely change our outlook. By getting our eyes off of what appears hopeless, we can see things differently and things can change.

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full
(John 15:11).

There is joy, peace, and freshness that flows through us when we have hope. When our heart is broken, hope opens our eyes to allow us to see clearly the goodness that God has planned for us. When a person walks in hope, there is a snap in their step, enabling them to skip through the day with hope flowing over the skin and through the hair like a fresh breeze on a summer day. With hope in your heart, you cannot help but have a smile on your face knowing that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Hope brings an assurance that the problems of the past cannot keep you in bondage as you glide forward moving ever closer to the manifestation of the promise. With hope, there is an eagerness to awake in the morning to tackle the challenges of life, knowing that the challenges will be resolved. Hope is ever looking forward and not looking back. In fact, hope forgets those things that are behind and presses forward to the goal knowing that when attained, there will be refreshing (Philippians 3:13-14). Regardless of the joys of the past, hope knows that the best days are yet to come. As each new day becomes better than the previous day, hope strengthens knowing that there is no end to the expanse of joy.

Hope and joy are eternal. Not only does hope create an atmosphere of anticipating goodness to come, but hope itself becomes manifest with gratefulness and thankfulness. Hope is never prideful, but recognizes that deliverance comes through the Word and not through the flesh. Hope doesn’t strive for fame and fortune, but if it is given, it is received with humility.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:13).

One of the worst things that can be spoken to a person who is trying to stay above depression and despair is for a friend to tell them, “Don’t get your hopes up.” To the contrary, that’s exactly what a person who is battling hopelessness needs to do. They need to get their hopes up!

But true hope cannot be found in the advice of worldly friends. Hope has its source in God’s Word. Find the hope you need that is quoted in scripture and surround yourself with godly people who know the truth and who will help you get your hopes up.

Devotion 0686