What is Hope?
The word “hope” is a simple word but it is filled with significance. Hope is both a noun and a verb. It can be used to speak about our expectation for something good. “I’m hoping for good health as I get older.” Hope can also be used to speak about the source of that expectation, “I am praying that God will bless me with good health.” One may speak of hoping for things that matter little. “I hope that it rains this afternoon, the lawn needs it,” or for things that matter much, “I hope that my marriage can be healed?”
Culturally, we are taught to place our hope in things like money, education, medical science, and psychology. Some people will place their hope in his or her character traits or self image, “I’ve been a good person,” “I don’t hurt others,” or “I don’t believe in divorce.” As a last resort one might place their hope in chance, “I’m feeling lucky today, my fortune cookie said so.” Ultimately, one’s need for hope is too significant to be found in any of these things mentioned above.
Spouses who experience a marital crisis need a type of hope that can sustain them through the darkest of times. The type of hope needed to restore a marital crisis puts the victim of broken trust or sexual betrayal at risk of being offended again as they stay connected to the offender. The type of hope needed to restore a crisis marriage is different than a safety net. A safety net, such as one used by high wire walkers may limit any consequences of failing to successfully cross between two towers. But safety nets have limits such as size, affordability, and load capacity.
Hoping for marital reconciliation will never be accomplished by placing one’s hope in a safety net in order to limit the consequences of failure. The hope for reconciliation can only be found in Christ Jesus who promises to never abandon or forsake you.
What are some things that you rely upon when needing for hope?
- I am a good person
- I go to church
- We love our children
- I have a good support system
What will you do to experience the progression of hope as found in the book of Romans?
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5 TNIV
A Marriage Coach’s Story:
I lived with a false belief in myself. I thought I could manage my life pretty well. But I failed myself and everyone else. I lost my hope and I gave up hope for my marriage. All I knew to do was to respond to God with obedience. And as I was obedient to do the things God called me to do, I could see Him working in my marriage. It was then I began to have hope for my marriage.