Far too many people see “hope” as something static and passive. You hear people make statements like, “I hope such-and-such will happen” or “I wish this particular trial would go away,” which is the clearest indication that their hope is an earthly hope.
But this is not for you! This is not the kind of hope the Bible tells us to have.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
David’s psalm reveals two very important things to all those who have put their hope in the Lord about what heavenly hope does. Let’s take a look . . .
We are actually strong when we acknowledge our weakness, because where we are weak, He is strong. JB Phillips’ New Testament in Modern English rendered 2 Corinthians 12:10, “My very weakness makes me strong in him [Christ].” The strength David’s psalm is calling us to display is not an inner strength; it is the strength of the Creator of the universe, which resides in us in the presence of His Holy Spirit. When we understand this truth, we see our strength as a stream flowing from the Fount of every imaginable blessing, giving us all the strength we need to do all the things God is calling us to do.
Used together in the Scriptures, the words “Take heart” form an idiom that is designed to encourage and empower us to press on with boldness and courage, regardless of the opposition we are facing. Why? Because of the place where we have placed our hope! If our hope is located in anything smaller than God, it will always fail us. But when our hope is in the Lord, we can be assured that the victory has already been won and we need only to walk in it.
When the young shepherd boy David faced the giant Goliath after the “fighting men” of Israel refused to answer the Philistine’s brazen challenge, David was living out the truth of the very Scripture God inspired him to pen. His strength and courage were not found in himself, but rather in his God. His hope could not fail him because he was hoping in the only One who had promised never to fail him.
So . . . are you currently being strong in the Lord? Or in yourself? Have you been trusting in the Lord or in yourself? Be strong and take heart, because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that resides in you (Ephesians 1:19-20).
Hope in the Lord . . . and let that lift you to the heavens!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!