When I was in the sixth grade we lived in an R.V. Park in Hesperia, California. At first, the idea of living in a thirty-five foot long motor home seemed fun. But, thirty-five feet started to feel awfully small with two of my sisters and our parents. All the changes that were happening, like moving into our new home, led to reactions and arguing, and unrest.
To work off some of the restlessness we felt, my little sister and I spent a lot of time on our roller skates, staying gone and skating every surface we could, and were often told not to skate, in that park.
Occasionally, we braved it, circling out of the park and skating on the side street that ran between the two entrances. There was a tall cinder block wall that separated us from view of anyone park side, which our mom did not like at all. But, that straightaway was one of the few places I found I could be alone.
A lot of times, I would make my little sister stay park side or skate ahead of me so that I could find a place to sit and think.
I thought and thought and thought some more, listening to and watching the desert. Not so far off, I could hear and see the interstate traffic—cars whizzing past one way and the other.
I wondered about the people in those cars. Where were they going? What were they thinking about? Were they happy? What did they hope for?
The roof of the motor home was my other place to be alone.
Up there, even with all the lamp posts throughout the park, I was able to see the night sky over the desert. It was filled with stars that shone so bright they refused to be unnoticed.
As a kid, being on the rooftop was just high enough to feel like the sky was coming down on me, like I could reach out and touch one of those bright stars. Something about staring up at the starry desert sky always made me feel like God was really close, like He could hear me.
There were nights, frustrated and sobbing, that I climbed the ladder to the roof and silently cried out to God, “Please help me! Please help us stop fighting! Help us love each other! Help me get away from here!”
I had no idea that I was hoping for His help; for His love, peace, and rest. Neither did I understand that what I was hoping for was already given to us all in Jesus Christ His Son.
Thinking about this first post, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me hone in on what to write about, believing He spoke to me the word hope.
According to the concordance in my New American Standard Bible (NASB), hope is a verb, meaning to expect with confidence.
In Christ, we have a confident expectation.
I’ve heard this said again and again, but now I am conceiving this truth, digging into it.
There were three verses in particular that the Holy Spirit led me to begin my excavation: Psalm 38:15, Ephesians 1:12, and Hebrews 11:1.
Psalm 38:15 (NASB) says, “For I hope in You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God,” and, in reading this verse, I thought, “What is the name of God here?”
Using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, I looked up Lord and God and found that there are two different Hebrew words used for Lord. Yehovah, or the Eternal, is used first. Then Adonay, which is also from entry #113, is used in the second part of the verse and means sovereign. The Hebrew word for God is elohiym and means, supreme God; exceeding; great; mighty.
I love how the Holy Spirit teaches, leading us to receive understanding in the Word and revealing to us who our God is, what it means to hope in Him.
When we hope in Him—understanding that He is our Lord the Eternal, Lord who is sovereign, our God who is supreme—we can have a confident expectation.
I am still letting this all soak in, still running my fingers across the grooves and etchings of what is unearthed here. These questions come to mind: What are we confidently expecting? His goodness towards us? For Him to be exactly who He says He is, our EVERYTHING?
Then the Holy Spirit led me to Ephesians 1:12 (NASB) which says, “to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” I was compelled to look up commentaries, getting a better understanding and considering the verse contextually.
After reading a few at www.biblehub.com about this verse, Paul’s revelation of Jesus, and his ability in Christ to minister to Jews and Gentiles, gave more reason to marvel at God’s awesomeness. In his letters, Paul so often rehearsed the Good News to Jews and Gentiles. The first chapter of Ephesians is no different.
In Ephesians 1:12, Paul speaks of Jewish Christians having been the first to hope in the Messiah, and in v.13 includes Gentile believers as also having received this same hope. Paul, in this one chapter, explains to us exactly what God our Father accomplished in Jesus—all that was hoped for.
Hebrews 11:1 (NASB) says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
The Greek word for faith in v.1 is pistis and means being reliant on Christ for salvation. Hoped is the Greek word elpizo, meaning to have trust.
I inserted these meanings, “Now faith (reliance on Christ for our salvation) is the assurance of things hoped (trusted) for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).”
We can have a confident expectation in Christ Jesus because God our Father has made Him to be our everything (Eph. 1:1-23).
All of my hope (confident expectation) is in You, Jesus.