Run the Race with Hope
By Ruth Davidson
At the onset of new beginnings, we look forward to new horizons with hope and expectancy. The dictionary’s definition of hope is to expect, anticipate, look for, want, wish for, long for. The New Testament gives a firmer, more sure definition: “a desire of some good and an expectation of obtaining it.”
When I think of the word hope, I think of expectancy and that the outcome will be the fulfillment of something wonderful. This thought alone gives me joy to keep my gaze directed upward. For those of us who believe, it could be likened to what we will feel when Jesus comes bursting through the clouds at His Second Coming.
Similarly, we can look forward to a new endeavor with exhilaration because of all the untapped possibilities awaiting us. Perhaps many of the things we were unable to accomplish yesterday can be achieved today, tomorrow, or in the future. When patience is coupled with hope, wonderful things can happen.
I feel that the moment I first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful time of the day, when I am fresh and life is full of new expectancies, new hope. The day ahead could be likened to an unspoiled covering of virgin white snow before a footprint is embedded in it. We each have been granted the majesty of free will to choose how we will approach and live each day, which is the first step leading into the rest of future tomorrows. “Today is the tomorrow that we dreamed of yesterday.”
Our greatest hope of all is in knowing Jesus. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”1 “So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We might have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.”2
Our hope was fulfilled in Him. Jesus was the fulfillment, the manifestation and embodiment of hope. We receive the gift of hope from Jesus because He possessed this virtue in Himself. Jesus had the certainty and assurance that He would rise from the dead, as He explained to the apostles before His crucifixion and resurrection.3
Being fully human, Christ had the ability to grow in His graces: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”4 No matter what difficulties, struggles, or turmoil we may face, when we have Christ in us, we can cling to the promise of the hope of glory.
Hoping takes faith. It takes faith to hope. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, we see that all of these great giants of faith hoped for things unseen, which were to come. Noah hoped—looked forward to dry land. Abraham sojourned in the land of promise and looked for, or hoped for, a heavenly country, New Jerusalem. Moses “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect [hope] unto the recompense of the reward.”5
We’ve heard the wise quote: “God’s delays are not denials.” Often when we pray for something, we might get an immediate answer to our petition. However, other times it may take days, weeks, or even years for God to accomplish His will. His timetable is not our timetable. He sees the infinite picture. We see the finite. We may want something to happen our way and in our time, but there may be many factors outside our scope that first need to come into play. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”6
In the words of wise King Solomon: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”; then he goes on to say, “but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”7
A few symbols of hope:
- Rainbows: “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.”8 The rainbow also signifies new beginnings, hope, and God’s promise.
- Life after life: “For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.”9
- The dove: the bird who flew back to Noah with the olive branch.10
- The anchor: “Christians adopted the anchor as a symbol of hope in future existence because the anchor was regarded in ancient times as a symbol of safety. Christ is the unfailing hope of all who believe in him.”11
“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, we are pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”12
So let us follow the admonition of the apostle Paul to “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”13
“Looking forward to that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”14
1 Colossians 1:27. KJV unless specified otherwise.
2 Hebrews 6:18–19 ESV.
3 See Matthew 16:21.
4 Luke 2:52.
5 Hebrews 11:7–10, 26.
6 Martin Luther King Jr.
7 Proverbs 13:12 NKJV.
8 Genesis 9:13 NKJV.
9 Job 14:7.
10 See Genesis 8:11.
12 Philippians 3:13–14.
13 Hebrews 12:1–2.
14 Titus 2:13.