Sometimes I think my brain is so weird, and maybe you can relate. One moment, I can be presented with an opportunity and be ridiculously excited about it, but not a second later, the thought of that thing ever happening will only be shrouded in disbelief. I thought I was an all-in kind of person. If I’m going to do something, I do it, but if there is any inclination that it won’t work out the way I feel it needs to, I’ll drop it immediately.
Disappointment, if you let it invade your thought processes, is debilitating.
In those moments, I often find myself angry at God. In those moments, I’m fearful to ever hope for anything ever again. Hope deferred does, indeed, make the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12).
As I was driving home from work this afternoon, which is really no more than a five minute trek, the title phrase exploded in my heart: God doesn’t give false hope. I questioned Him on this thinking, I hope for things all the time that turn out to be worthless and void. Then it hit me: I hope in things.
Hope and trust are married to one another. Without trust, I cannot completely hope. When I place my hope in things, when I expect that people or money or jobs or fame will cause what I hope for to come to fruition, it will fail me every time. I’m not saying not to trust people or have high expectations. What I am saying is that we cannot expect people or things to do what only God can.
Humanity is naturally fallible; God is naturally perfect.
Let me lay some Bible on you:
In you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame…No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts…
David knew in his moments of discouragement that the only good place to entrust his hope was in God alone:
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him…
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
I love that in the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah has seen discouragement and failure…even though I believe he hoped for the best. Despite the pain and anguish he felt and saw, he still says (vs 21-22):
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.
The truth of God’s word will never lead us to failure. It will never leave us empty. God’s hope will renew and give strength (Isaiah 40:30-31); His hope is courageous (Psalm 31:24). It is encouragement and inspiration (1 Thes 1:3, 2 Thes 2:16-17).
I think where I slip up is when I hope for something, whether it be a husband or a better job, or a change in my circumstances, I end up placing my hope in that, thus making it an idol. I should be placing hope for the thing in God alone. Does that make sense? Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. As I said before, everything and everyone “down here” will fail us at one time or another. But God cannot and will not ever fail us.
Just because I don’t get what I hope for does not mean God is a liar. His promises are good and true and exactly what I need…though I may not see it in the moment.
Numbers 23:19 (NLT) says it so dang well:
God is not a man, so he doesn’t lie. He’s not human, so he doesn’t change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
I’m convinced that the only reason I drown in disappointment is because I fail to truly trust God and place my hope only in Him. It is all about the validity of my perceptions. If I open my hands to His possibilities in every situation of my life, I can’t be worried. He loves me. He wants to give me good things. He wants to show His glory through my life.
The moment this truth overrides the emotions I feel, I can believe for the best. Until then, my trust will be only in failure, not perfection. Until then, my hope will disappoint because it’s attached to the temporary and not the eternal. When this truth sinks into the depths of my being, I won’t worry for anything because my hope will be in the very place it should continually live: God alone.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23