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“…that… we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” —Hebrews 6:18,19
Confidence in a future event;
the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good;
as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises.
—Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
In a tempestuous world tossed about by the waves of confusion and despair, chaos and uncertainty, and void of all true hope, we cling humbly yet confidently to Christ our Anchor and the promise that the souls of those whom He came to save are eternally secure (John 6:39); that His Word goes forth, not returning void, but accomplishing that which it set out to perform (Isaiah 55:11); and that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to be complete it (Philippians 1:6).
It is the Divine gift of hope which gives the Christian the constancy and the steadfastness of confidence that many will long for but never obtain apart from Christ. It is this gift of hope that imparts the expectation of eternal victory (Romans 8:37) and grants the strength to persevere when “a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand” (Psalm 91:7). Though he may survey the wreckage all about him caused by sin, yet he remembers that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the unrelenting onslaught of the Church (Matt 16:18) and he thus smiles at the future (Prov 31:25, nasb).
History Teaches Us to Hope
“I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done… that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; —excerpts from Psalm 78:2-7
Nothing infuses hope into the lives of Believers more than recounting God’s past faithfulness to His people. Whether it be those peculiar providences in the life of the individual or the more broad “march of providence” which we witness unfolding upon us corporately over the ages, for a forgetful people, the cure for what ails us is well captured in the verses from Psalm 78 above. It’s also captured well—and almost poetically—in the comments below from one of American history’s most beloved figures:
“My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them nor indisposed me to serve them; nor in spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair of the future. The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.
—Letter from Robert E. Lee to Lt. Col. Charles Marshall, September 1870
May God, in His grace, be pleased to make our hope constant and make us, in that hope, constant in Him.