The Thrill of Hope

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:5-8

The psalmist’s hope lifted his head and buoyed his soul. It was no empty wish but a solid, unwavering expectation tethered to his certain and true God. The God who called, led, provided, and delivered. The God who was eternally present to save and inspire, and who would come as promised to reign forever. The covenant LORD who kept His promises and fulfilled His every purpose.

Our joy in living is limited because we misplace our hope. We invest in the temporal instead of laying up treasure in heaven. We make much of frenzied activity instead of thoughtful steps, of urgency over the long view. Genuine thrill of hope gets drowned by the tyranny of the urgent, which renders us incapable of reordering our lives. Unfulfilled earthly expectations disquiet the soul and make a mess of God’s intended joy. Will we pause, take a step back, say no to hurry and yes to wait? Will we raise our sights, and wonder at the divine sparkling on our fleeting days to remind us of the lofty One who reigns over all? (Matthew 6:19-21; 2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Waiting on Jesus trains us to wait for other things, and often serves to eliminate earthly desires altogether. Waiting on Jesus transforms thought processes and ignites the spirit where all was flesh. Waiting on Jesus breaks into our weary world with the abounding thrill of heavenly hope. And that hope not only never disappoints us, but is contagious to those around us with eyes for only this life. (Romans 5:5; 15:13)

In what areas are we flagging in expectancy because we’re seeking the wrong solutions? And who among us needs encouragement to open to God’s hope-filling, life-giving Spirit?

In celebration of the first advent of Jesus, we are drawn to hope for His second, the glorious day when He returns to fulfill His word to take us to be with Him forever, to restore His creation in a new heaven and earth. The longings with which we yearn here will be swallowed up in perfect fulfillment. Sorrow and tears will be banished forever. Does this truth not set us on tiptoe, expectantly rejoicing? (Revelation 21:1-4)

“Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.” ~Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Father, infuse me with the thrill of hope for You and Your presence in every aspect of every day. May both mindset and countenance bring You glory, even as I wait on You.

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