Wishing and hoping – Hope 103.2

Wishing and hoping

By David ReayTuesday 2 Jan 2018LifeWords Devotionals

Read 1 Peter 1:3

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (NIV)

Wishing and hoping are not the same thing. Eugene Peterson puts it like this: ”Wishing is our will projected into the future, and hope is God’s will coming out of the future. Wishing extends our egos into the future; hope desires what God is going to do in the future, and we don’t know what that might be.”

There is no great problem with having wishes, but the problem comes when we confuse those wishes with biblical hope. Wishes are very much tied up with what we are doing or what we want to do. Hope is tied up with what God is doing or is intending to do. Not all our wishes will come true, but what we hope for in God will come true.

This is because hope is a confident expectation that God will be true to his character and his promises. Far from the common meaning we attach to the word. Hope is faith in its future dimension.

In order to sustain hope we need to be disciplined when it comes to wishing. Fantasising too much about what we wish for may prevent us discerning the shape of the hope God has planted in us. Insisting on our wishes coming true is a poor substitute for living in anticipation of what God is going to do next. Wishing has us creating our own agenda. Hoping has us expectantly waiting for God to pursue his agenda.

David Reay

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