There are people who have nothing to look forward to. Without hope, without expectations, without something to look forward to beyond today, you will just give up. Yes, the Return of Christ is the greatest hope there is, but if you have no hope for this life, then you will give up and settle.
Having hope in God is expecting God's goodness and care when you don't know specifically what to believe God for at the present moment. Have you ever been there before? We all have, many times.
When we don't know what to believe God for specifically, and don't understand what's going on, or can't just figure it out, we can choose to have hope in our God to bring us a solution. We can ask God for help to bring us something specific to believe. I think it's really simple.
When we believe God, we are believing a specific promise for a specific situation. That promise from God can either be written, spoken or revealed to us. We can then choose to accept it as true, believe it, and it will come to pass.
Having hope in God is when we do not know specifically what to believe. We don't understand what's going on. We just can't figure it out. But, we can choose to have hope in our God to bring us a solution; to bring us to a point where we do have something specific to believe. You can put your hope in God that He will bring a solution to you. If you are believing God, then you have something specific from Him to believe. On the other hand, having hope in God is much broader; it is open to endless possibilities. Some may call it, "trust." It is expecting and anticipating that God with all His love, goodness and care, will bring to you what you need.
Having hope is not wishing. Someone can say, "I wish I had a thousand dollars." But a wish is attached to nothing but the wish. Having hope in our God means we are connecting or relating our hope to our God, Who is unlimited in His love and resources.
When you genuinely have hope in God, you are enthused about living this life. Why? Because you have genuine expectations that God is working in your life. You know that with His unlimited resources there are many, many possibilities of Him bringing you a solution.
But keep in mind that this does not happen automatically, just because you are a Christian. Choosing to put your hope in God is a choice, day by day. Then, you allow Him to be involved in your life. And He is very willing to help us regardless of the situations we are faced with.
Free will to choose is one of the greatest things God has given to everyone. God takes it very seriously. He will not overstep your free will. He may try to warn you, but He will never violate your free will to choose.
In the Bible, when the angel first talked to Gideon, he had no hope. He was like many people today who have lost hope; they have no expectations and thus they really don't exercise their free will to move forward. They feel stuck where they are and they just can't seem to move forward.
People who have lost hope, just like Gideon, often wonder, "Well, where is God? Where are all His miracles? Where is His help?" That's exactly the mindset Gideon had at first; he had lost hope.
If we lose hope, then we will slowly give up our free will to move forward. But God gave us all free will so that we could move forward, living our lives, enjoying our lives, making choices and decisions the best that we can, and then looking to Him, with expectations and hope of greater days ahead. Now that is living life!
There are those who may say to others going through difficult situations, "Just believe God." Well that may sound nice, but what specifically are we supposed to believe when we just don't know what to do? When someone has lost hope, they need to have hope rekindled first before they can choose to believe God.
We need to do whatever it takes to keep our hope in God alive and to have great expectations for our God. We ought to remind ourselves every single day of who God is, what He has done in the past, and, what He can still do today and tomorrow.
Have hope in our God that He will bring a solution to you, that he will reveal something specific that you can in turn believe, so that you can receive His help and deliverance.