Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again- my Saviour and my God! (NLT)
Hope is what keeps us going when we feel like stopping. Hope is what causes us to suspect that tomorrow may be better,that there is still a future despite the past and the present. Hope is the future dimension of faith. It is a sure confidence.
What distinguishes Christian hope from sheer optimism is the character of God. Biblical hope is a confidence that God will be faithful in the future. It is not vague wishful thinking. It is not self-confident ‘she’ll be right’ cheeriness. Because it not based on the variables of circumstances. It does not express the rather perverse sentiment that tomorrow must be better than today because today couldn’t get any worse.
Believe it or not,biblical hope allows for the possibility that tomorrow might be worse. However,it reminds us that God is with us for better or worse. Mere positive thinking will see us repeatedly broken by unforeseen circumstances,or will see us steadfastly denying painful reality. Biblical hope is far more solid even if it is,at first glance,less cheery.
The Psalmist here reminds us that discouragement and sadness are a reality. But they are not the bottom-line reality. His hope,and ours,is built not on the wishful thinking that says tomorrow must be better than today. It is built on the sure confidence that the God who was with me yesterday and is with me today will certainly be with me tomorrow. Bottom line.