For the first time, this morning I realized that hope has two connotations. Most of the time when I use the word, I'm referring to something I "hope will happen."
I hope I will find a husband.
I hope we can adopt a baby.
I hope Isaac will get healed.
I hope we can move.
I hope we get good tenants in our house.
These hopes aren't guaranteed to have the positive outcome, and in fact, some of them have not.
I remember one time at a funeral, my mom was upset because the pastor kept saying, "We have a hope..." She was frustrated because she had more than hope that Fred was in heaven. She knew him well, knew he trusted and followed Jesus, and felt he already had assurance that he would be spending eternity in heaven.
But maybe that pastor wasn't saying "we hope Fred is in heaven." Maybe he was using the second connotation of the word hope.
Ephesians 1:18 says, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you..."
This verse addresses the hope that is assurance of the work Jesus has already done. It says we can KNOW the hope. Jesus has already conquered death, providing a way to eternal life for those who believe in him. Who put their hope in him.
So the eternal hope we have isn't that "I hope I get to go to heaven when I die," no, that I am assured of because I have trusted Jesus with my life. But rather,
"Life totally sucks sometimes, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have a hope to look forward to; eternity in heaven with Jesus."
Isaac's word was hope. Often times I thought it just referred to hoping he would get better or hoping his sickness and death wasn't all in vain, that it served a bigger purpose. Now I think that Isaac must have also had the other version of hope in his head. He knew he may or may not be healed, but regardless, his hope was in the fact that either way, at the end of his life he would be running on golden streets, taking a 200 year tour of the world, and meeting Jesus face to face. And I think he was pretty excited about that.
Because Jesus has granted my eternal hope, how can I not trust him with my worldly ones? He knows me best - he created me, he chose me - what have I to fear?
And that is the ultimate hope fulfilled.
So am I way off here? I'd love to hear some feedback about hope - did you ever realize we use the word in two different ways?