What Hope Means

I just watched a trailer for the upcoming release of the newest movie version of “Superman.” In the trailer, Superman says that symbol on his chest isn’t an “S” but it is a symbol from his native planet which means “hope.” The interviewer says, “well, on this planet, it’s an ‘S’.”

Hope is a call of our heart. We want hope. We need hope. Without hope, we are sunk.

According to Romans 5, hope is produced within us through trials, which produce perseverance, with perseverance producing character. From character, we find hope. Then, with hope freshly produced, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5.

I believe that the power of hope is found in that verse. Hope in the abstract is folly. We can hope against reason and be foolish so what is it that makes this God-given hope so powerful? It’s the love of God.

Underneath our hope is that core platform from which our faith and hope operate. So the love of God is a critical component of any hope we have for hope. We can’t lose sight of the love of God. We have to know that He loves us and is for our good during the times that are producing the character which gives us hope.

Love is relational, not conceptual. We have to know God intimately in order to know His love. We can’t read about it or hear about it, we have to live in it. We have to yield to His presence within us and around us to trust Him enough to allow Him to show Himself faithful in our lives if we ever want to know His love experientially. That love which He will put on display for us is the foundation of our hope.

What does this all mean? It means that when all hell is breaking loose around us, our hope is in the loving relationship of a Father. The circumstances around us suggest to us that we are abandoned and threatened. The hope of adoption is the love of a Father and the Father’s love is all we need to get through it. We’re either going to trust the suggestions of our circumstances or the love of our Father. Hope is in the latter.

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