I hope in your words

This new day, November 30, 2017, begins words from the Psalmist who proclaims his hope in God:

Psalm 119:147 (New King James Version)

I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.

The New Living Translation put it this way:

Psalm 119:147 (NLT)

I rise early, before the sun is up;
I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.

Hope has been defined as “the expectation of a future good.” Jeremiah 29:11, one of the most often referenced verses of our times, speaks of God’s desire for Israel to give them “hope and a future.” As Christian believers, we go to the Word of God and find that God is our hope. We are to be totally grounded in our confidence and expectation of God’s goodness and providential care, even in the face of trouble and anguish.

Throughout the Psalms, especially in Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, every verse makes reference to the Word of God, the place where our hope abides, as these three verses remind us:

Psalm 119:74:

May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word.

Psalm 119:43
Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope.

Psalm 119:114

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.

Elsewhere in the Bible, we are also encouraged to place our hope in the Word of God, as Romans 12:12 (NLT) offers this reminder

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Hebrews 10:23 (NLT) encourages us:

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Psalm 71:5 offers this marvelous reminder:

For you are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Hope counteracts thoughts of despondency, when we recognize that hope is a joyful and confident expectation. Though we are confronted with challenges on every hand, even in the face of death itself, we still have hope:

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope.”

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name


On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

In the midst of difficult situations, we reflect upon the goodness of God who has been faithful in past instances, and the Word of God assures us of His steadfast love, as we rejoice in hope, so expressed in this poem:

Rejoice in Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Romans 12:12 (NLT)

And we now truly know God is able to do
Exceedingly and abundantly above all
That our finite minds can ask or could even think.
He uplifts and strengthens us each time that we fall.
Our paths lead to disaster, to the very brink.
Despite delays and setbacks, His Word is still true:
God is faithful to His promise; He will come through.
When life begins to unravel, we may ask why
The fulfillment of His will seems to be delayed.
All those who call on Him, He will never deny.
We are assured He will reward all who have obeyed.
Our faithful God is not a man that He should lie.
Through every trial, we are covered by the Blood,
We rejoice in hope, knowing that the Lord is good.

The Maranatha Singers offer a moving rendition of the timeless hymn that has come to mean even more to me over the years.

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