“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You” (Psalm 39:7).
IF ANYONE EVER HAD CONFIDENCE IN GOD, DAVID SURELY DID. Many were the times when, in the midst of difficult circumstances, David prayed for God’s help, and having done so, was able to lie down and go to sleep. Even before he knew what the outcome would be, David could rest in hope, since his hope was not set on any particular outcome of the crisis but on God Himself.
God’s Power. The first thing that hope in God means is that we trust in His power and ability. As the Creator, God can do anything that needs to be done, so there is no such thing as a problem that has no solution. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20,21).
God’s Wisdom. God’s power is always governed by His wisdom. Out of all the things He is able to do, God can be counted on to select the one that is best to do. In this respect, of course, God is very different from us. Even when we can do something, we don’t always know what should be done. But God is never perplexed or puzzled by such things. Taking every single factor into consideration, He unfailingly does what is the wisest and best.
God’s Goodness. But God’s power is also governed by His goodness. Benevolently inclined toward us, He hears our prayers with mercy and compassion. We tend to think of “wisdom” as an abstract quality, but God’s wisdom is always a loving wisdom. He will never do anything unwise, but neither will He do anything that is not conducive to the highest, eternal good of His creatures.
The problem with resting our hope in God is that we tend to do it only when the situation looks fairly hopeful anyway — we only hope in God when it seems likely that things are going to turn out the way we want them to. But that kind of hope requires little faith. Real hope is the kind that rests in God’s power, wisdom, and goodness even when, from our vantage point, we can see no desirable outcome of the problem. Hope is not human optimism — it is trust in a God who has proven His trustworthiness.
“Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless” (G. K. Chesterton).