"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD" (Psalm 31:24).
The power of hope is very much a phenomena of unexplainable proportion. It is what can drive someone who is at the end of their rope to go one more mile. The absence of it will drive another to throw in the towel. Hope is the miracle that gives those who depend on it strength & courage when the odds appear stacked against them. David was a shepherd boy turned mighty warrior turned famous king who was keenly aware of the life-giving power and miraculous intervention of hope.
Hope kept David believing in the calling and anointing that God had placed on his life. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for one so young to believe he would actually be king when so many people seemed against him. His family didn't seem to be in his corner. The king had tried to kill him. Mutiny was attempted in him several times once he became king. His kids tried to have him killed. Yet, hope was what kept him alive and moving forward even when he was trapped in a cave of darkness, isolation, and many questions. Hope was the miracle that reminded him that his purpose was never in how he felt, what he saw, or what others thought. His hope was in the One who had spoken purpose over his life and over his future. That purpose gave him hope. That hope gave him life. That life gave him legacy.
"Be strong..." The prophet Isaiah would later pen the words that have become the anthem of hope and the support that has held many a person who has travelled and travailed through the "impossible" seasons of life. "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." When strength seems to fail you, hope is there to lift you. Be strong. You are not done. You are not finished. Satan wants you to believe that there is a vacuum of hope and that what you are going through is no longer worth it. If he can blind you to the hope, he can blind you to the purpose. Be strong. Remember who the Lord God is. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. What you are feeling right now may be very, very real, but there is nothing in this world that is greater in size, power, or purpose than God. He is your strength. His purpose is your strength. The hope you have in Him is your strength. You will mount up on wings as the eagles, whose feathers are ready to meet the winds that can destroy, yet use them to climb high. Be strong and climb high.
"...and take heart..." In other words, take courage. Hope and courage go hand in hand. Hope is the "what you have," while courage is "how you will keep it." The phrase "take heart," which translates to courage, literally means to hold onto or to continue. It is to be firmly established in such a way that no matter what comes your way, you are not letting go of what God has given you to hold. In fact, He has given Himself through Jesus. Your courage comes from not only you holding onto Him, but from the awareness that He is actually holding onto you. Satan wants you to believe that you are doing all of the work of holding on. If you believe that, then it is easy to feel the fatigue setting in when the weariness of holing on begins to overwhelm. But when you begin to see that your holding on isn't why your staying up, because it is HE who is holding onto you, strength from within begins to rise up. That is the power of hope. You CAN do this. You can stay even longer. You can go even farther. You may feel as though you can't hold on any more, but you are not the reason you are still up. Rest in the arms that are holding you.
"...all you who hope in the Lord." None of this is possible merely because you can muster up the inner-will to keep going. That might take you a bit farther, but you will find the same result. True hope comes from the One who was there before the beginning and will continue after the "end." The One who is the author of all life is also the keeper and giver of all hope. The word "hope" is a word that means "to trust in, to wait on, and to expect." It's not a "wishful thinking" concept, but one that is built on something very real. If you are believer in the love of God, in which Jesus came to not only die for your sins, but to BE your hope for all that you will ever face, then you can KNOW that you will make it beyond where you are right now. Your hope in Him is your trust in Him. It means you are willing to put the entire weight of who you are, what you're going through, and who you care about in His hands and at His feet. It means that you are ready to wait as long as it takes to see Him do what He has promised to do, even if it looks much different from what you had imagined or thought. Your love for Him is bigger than your control for things to be done in a way that meets your own feelings or desires. It means that you have a faithful expectation that is unshakeable to believe even when you don't see or feel. When your focus is on the LORD, the One who always was, is, and will be, He WILL BE the hope that gives you strength and sustains your courage.