Yesterday, for the first time I can recall, I watched the entire movie The Shawshank Redemption. I’d only seen portions before, so now I know the full story of the two main characters, Andy and Red. Andy, falsely convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, and Red, serving a life sentence for a just conviction, both battled hope. Andy’s hope was stronger because he envisioned something beyond what he could see; he placed his actions and his beliefs in that hope. (That’s all the plot I’ll divulge; get some popcorn and watch it and enjoy to see how it works out for Andy and Red.)
The lines from the dialogue and the theme of the movie led me to think further about my hope, where is it and where should it be. I was reminded that my hope isn’t in temporal things but in eternal things. My values aren’t satisfied by temporal things, as much as I’m tempted to go after them.
Turning to scripture then, here are 10 passages that define my hope. May they give you a starting place for yours.
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 HCSB
“Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25 HCSB
“Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” Psalms 39:7 HCSB
“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” Psalms 62:5 HCSB
“The Lord values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.” Psalms 147:11 HCSB
“The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.” Proverbs 10:28 HCSB
“Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young. Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him. Let him put his mouth in the dust — perhaps there is still hope.” Lamentations 3:21-29 HCSB
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 HCSB
“Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. He remains faithful forever, executing justice for the exploited and giving food to the hungry. The Lord frees prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises up those who are oppressed. The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord protects foreigners and helps the fatherless and the widow, but He frustrates the ways of the wicked. The Lord reigns forever; Zion, your God reigns for all generations. Hallelujah!” Psalms 146:5-10 HCSB
“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 HCSB