Wishing And Hoping — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Wishing And Hoping — Morning Devotions

What is the difference between these two words? We often use them interchangeably, but biblical hope is something different.

By Chris WittsTuesday 8 Nov 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Back in the sixties, Dusty Springfield had a big hit song called “Wishing and Hoping”. I quite like the melody, and I think many people do. The words go “wishing and hoping and thinking and praying and planning and dreaming each night of his charms that won’t get you into his arms.” Hope can often come across as a rather weak concept. To say I hope I can do this often betrays a lack of strong confidence that you really can do it.

One dictionary defines hope as wishing for a particular event that one considers possible. But I wonder how many people go through life wishing and hoping with their fingers crossed. Surely life is not just about sitting around wishing and hoping for a better future. Hope is an elusive word. It’s one that we misuse all the time. It’s not wishful thinking. ‘I hope it doesn’t rain Friday night or a wish on the star – God make it happen – kind of prayer’.

Wishful thinking is when we really want something to happen. Wishful thinking is not necessarily based on reality. It’s expressing some uncertainty – tossing a coin in a wishing well or wishing on a star has no guarantees. It’s easy to confuse wishing and hoping, for example, as children, we approach our birthdays with expectations of gifts and presents, parties, and we hope we’ll get a good gift. But that’s not quite hope. In the way the Bible describes it, the Bible uses a very nautical or boating image to describe the experience of hope. I’m looking at Hebrews 6:18-19. God has given His promise. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold onto this hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for ourselves. Hope is to our souls, like a good anchor on a boat helps to stay afloat.

When you get anxious about the challenges you face or you might be uncertain about the future, Christian Hope is very different than wishing something may or may not happen. But hoping is an active confidence in the future realities. We can have great confidence as we hold onto the hope that lies before us because the hope that God provides is strong and trustworthy, just like that anchor for our souls. And LaMotte says hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don’t give up.

One of the early explorers of South Africa’s Ocean waters, Bartholomew Diaz, went around a cape on a stormy seat. Now his ship threatened to go to pieces, so he called the place the Cape of Storms. But King of Portugal, John, the second, who came later, supposedly changed the name to the Cape of Good Hope because he saw ahead of him the jewels and the treasures of India.

You can call this a life of storms if you wish, but if you can see the glorious redemption of eternity ahead of you, you can call it what it is in Christ. A life of good hope. A Christian is someone who has discovered hope in real terms, a hope that lasts beyond this life. When all hope seems lost, there is a Saviour who makes a way in the darkness. And when we struggle and grope about in this dark world, there is a light, the perfect light that came into the world to show us the way because He was the way – Jesus – The way the truth and the life. No matter what you’re going through, no matter who you are, God desires to be for you, not against you. And when you step into his love and grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you realise that the worries of this life are really temporary compared to the eternal life that Christ gives. We need not be anxious about tomorrow, but to trust that God will see us through. He is good and faithful, and his timing is perfect.

Jesus himself gave an unambiguous statement about why he was born into human history. He said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. That’s John 12:46. This is incredibly good news. You don’t have to fumble around wishing that you had some kind of assurance that God loves you. Hope is not something that you and I have to muster up or create.

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Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, there are times when we wish and hope. But Lord, we need something concrete, that’s definite. Thank you that your word points us to Jesus. Who is the way the truth and the life. Give me the understanding and the courage today to follow Him instead of following my leading’s all the time, Amen.