To hope, still

This is a repost from a little over a year ago. I decided to revisit it for a couple of reasons, one being that here again, a year later, I am once more encouraged to wait on the Lord in anxious expectation, being fully persuaded that what He has said, that He will do. He will. More than we can even imagine, to the praise of His glory!

Besides that, I thought that given the posts of the past couple of weeks you might be amused by my assertion that I “never cry.” Yeah, right. What-ever!


Way back a little more than a couple of decades ago, I was deep in the process of applying to various colleges. I had no clear idea of which college to attend, so I made application to several across my state and then waited to see if and how the scholarship money fell. One college I applied to was a private school which at that time admitted a freshman class of only 500.

The application for this particular university was unique in that it went well beyond the usual GPA and test scores. No, I had to give three adjectives that described me as well as answer other less objective type questions. One of the more difficult items included a empty space on the application sheet, maybe a three or four inch square, with the instructions: Fill this box with something that is important to you.

This was a dilemma for me, as I have zero creativity. I couldn’t draw a picture or post some song lyrics I’d written or anything like that. I guess I could’ve posted a picture of my boyfriend, as that along with graduating already were the most important things in my life at the time.

Not exactly a deep thinker then, or now.

Well, I got the inspiration to fill the box with a Bible verse. I have the distinct memory of randomly flipping through my Bible in search of a verse to copy down. Though “in church” my whole life, I don’t recall having a favorite verse or a life verse or anything like that. I was just looking for a verse that would make sense in a little three inch square space on a long college application.

Here is the verse I decided upon:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Heb. 11:1

I’ve been thinking of this verse, more specifically the phrase: “being sure of what we hope for.” I’ve heard “hope” defined in its Biblical context as “anxious expectation.” Being sure. Having confidence. Believing. Anxiously awaiting in full expectation. Faith and hope wrapped up together.

Sometimes I mistake “wishing” for “hoping.” When I wish for something, I am unsure if it will come to pass or not. I sure want it to, I fear that maybe it won’t, but I wish it will. By way of example, we’ve wished for rain: maybe, just maybe, it will rain, we sure hope so. We had no clear expectation it would (although it has, and is now as I type), our hope was merely an expression of our desire.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for.” Faith is the key: believing God and knowing He is faithful to do just as He says. Because our God is God, we can trust Him. We can know His promises are as good as accomplished, and we can hope in anxious expectation, waiting on Him in assurance and anticipation. He not only can, He will!

I’ve told you before I’m not sentimental. I rarely cry, unless fatigued or stressed. However, the other night I was moved to tears, this time not by fatigue nor stress, but by hope

Hope…not in a person nor in a circumstance nor in an expectation, but hope in my God, He who is faithful to hear and to answer, He who has promised to be good to those who wait on Him. He is our hope: Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I had been wishing for several things, but it was a wishing full of doubting and certainly not believing. As great as was my desire, my doubts were even greater. As my eyes were opened to fullness of hope, I was immediately convicted of my lack of faith: Help me believe! Overcome my unbelief!

Let us rejoice in our God, our hope! He is good to those who hope in Him! Let us wait on Him, in anxious and joyful expectation, eagerly anticipating that which we cannot yet see. What He has promised, that will He do…

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Rom. 15:13

P.S. Click here to see our dear friends’ hope fulfilled! What a precious gift from the Giver of all good things!


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

11 thoughts on “To hope, still”

  1. As I have read your posts, you have been on my heart. Having been through a difficult church situation in the past I just wanted to give you some verses that were a real source of comfort to me during that time. I Cor 4 v 1-5.Especially v2. All God asks of us is to be faithful. I am sure your decision was heartbreaking and difficult and never a decision you ever wanted to have to make but God will honor your faithfulness. Rest in that.Blessings.

  2. Very encouraging, Lisa. Thank you.I’m another one who “rarely cries,” but who has been doing far more than my share in 2008. There goes that image.

  3. Lisa,You were on my heart so much yesterday … of an on all day. I tried to comment here last night, but I think it was during the power outage. Anyway, I prayed for you the same pray I am praying for my daughter. Rom 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”blessings and prayer,Flowerpot

  4. Oops! I really should slow down. Sorry for my typos. That should say, “off and on all day” and “the same prayer I am praying”Flowerpot

  5. The last apragrpah syas it all:”Let us rejoice in our God, our hope! He is good to those who hope in Him! Let us wait on Him, in anxious and joyful expectation, eagerly anticipating that which we cannot yet see. What He has promised, that will He do…”Amen! Hugs to you sister!

  6. Oh, what hope! Christ is, He is my hope.I never ever cry. Ever. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Okay, I cry a lot – even when I’m happy. So, to cry over the hope we have in Christ – amen, sister.Praying for you, my friend.

  7. I was reading the past few posts. I sure don’t know what choices you have had to make but it reminded me of my own life over the past 1 1/2 years.I was a church administrator and the women’s pastor for 7 years at a place we had been for 11 years.In February 2007 the Lord called us away from that church home. It was for me the most difficult personal decision I have ever had to make. For the sake of the church family and my own family life – I needed to walk away.It is interesting how leaving a job and ministry and ultimately a church had left us temporarily friendless. I think I knew the day I walked out those doors for the last time that the friendships would end but, wow, I sure wasn’t prepared for the fall out. (I am not a crier either – but those first few days brought showers of tears).Here we are 17 months later, happily settled in a new church and Sunday the announcement will be made about my becoming the WM director. God is so faithful.People will judge, but only God knows our heart and HIS will!!!!I live by the scripture in James 1:2-4. I’m being made mature and complete in HIM.Have a blessed day!Cindy

  8. hi! i just found your blog because i was doing a search on a particular bible verse and it picked up your blog. just wanted to say that i was blessed to wander past here. be encouraged! your heart has encouraged mine this afternoon and your words are bringing hope to many!

  9. Mel at Mel’s World wrote about “Faith” yesterday (Sunday the 27th) and quoted Hebrews 11:1 too. Great post, check it out.

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