There are two different definitions for hope. Our culture defines hope as “wishful thinking,” but the biblical definition of hope is “full, unwavering confidence” in our Lord; the kind of confidence that overcomes even our deepest doubts.
Hope in the Lord is very rewarding! It gives us:
- Strength- When circumstances get tough, hope in the Lord can get us through it. We can draw strength from the Lord, knowing that He sees the bigger picture. With the Lord’s strength on our side, we can face any obstacle or circumstance and know that God will get us through it.
- Patience- Hope in the Lord teaches us patience as we often have to wait on His timing. Society says we need an immediate fix, but often times God can be glorified in the wait. We can wait on the Lord and have full confidence that He knows what is best for us.
- Peace- Hope in the Lord can give us peace that passes understanding. The unwavering confidence that we have in the Lord, when we truly allow it to fill us, will give us an amazing peace, no matter the circumstance.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
And hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. Romans 5:5
Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 39-41. That is a lot of scripture so feel free to paraphrase for those short attention spans! (Or read it from a children’s bible.) As you read the story, have your children act it out! This will keep them engaged during the story.
Discuss how Joseph had hope in the Lord even though his situation seemed extremely difficult. His own brothers sold him into slavery. Do you think he felt betrayed by his own family? While he was a slave, Potipher’s wife told lies about Joseph and he was thrown into jail, even though he was innocent. But he still had hope in the Lord! Joseph was put in charge of the prisoners at the jail!
When Pharaoh had a dream that he didn’t understand, he asked for Joseph to come interpret it. With God’s help, Joseph told Pharaoh what his dream was about. Pharaoh was so pleased that he put Joseph in charge! Even though his circumstances seemed helpless at times, Joseph found hope in the Lord. He drew strength from that hope and he had peace in his situations because he trusted in the Lord.