Hope Is a Person

Jen Smidt » Worship Heart

Hope Is a Person

When our hopes rise and fall based on our circumstances, it’s easy to get discouraged. We can only truly be anchored when we realize that hope is not only a feeling and an action—hope is also a Person.

Who regularly disappoints you?

When have you felt that sinking feeling of heartache and hurt at the hands of some person or circumstance you really believed would defend, protect, or come through for you?

It’s a familiar feeling for me. I’ve spent much of my life laying at others’ feet the responsibility of satisfying me. I’ve let my happiness and wholeness be defined by a moving target.

Because I’d struggled to anchor my existence and value upon God’s truth about me, disappointment crouched at the door of my heart. Hope rose and fell based on my feelings and not God’s fact, fluctuating with others’ actions rather than the attitude and affection of my heart.

Hope is three-fold

As I was talking with a friend, she was describing hope’s elusive nature. After enduring years in a particularly difficult marriage and experiencing broken promises so many times, she had no concept of hope. Her heart was numb to the idea that there could be joy and healing in her life.

I found myself getting confused about the definition of hope. We have hope, we lose hope, we are hoping, we stop hoping. What in the world is hope?

There must be something firmly foundational and solidly steadfast about our hope, or it will destroy us.

Hope is a feeling

When we talk of hope, it can be used to describe the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen:

  • “I have hope that my husband will turn his heart toward God.”

  • “My hope is he doesn’t come home drunk again tonight.”

  • “I am hopeful that next time, we won’t fight so badly.”

The concern about feeling hope is that the source of the expectation or desire is usually someone or something that simply cannot deliver. Or, if they do come through, it’s not long before we are found wanting more. The husband sins again, the friend forgets, the children grumble, and our hope is dashed on the rock of inconsistent and imperfect people and situations.

Hope is an action

Hope can also be quantified as an action. Hope as a verb takes the intangible feeling and puts momentum behind it.

  • “I hope I can get married someday.”

  • “I hope my children will love God when they are grown.”

  • “I am hoping my cancer will be cured.”

When we hope, we really want something to happen or be true. As we move from feeling to action, the potential for heartache amplifies. To hope is to risk.

Sadly, we dream, desire, and demand our way into despair when we hope for someone or something other than God to rescue, love, or complete us. That’s a tall order to place on an imperfect person or a conditional circumstance.

Hope is a feeling. Hope is an action. But, most importantly, Hope is a Person.

Hope is a person

As my friend and I continued talking, the Holy Spirit illuminated for me that while both feeling-hope and action-hope are good things, they must have an anchor. There must be something firmly foundational and solidly steadfast about our hope, or it will destroy us. The face of Jesus filled my thoughts and I saw clearly this beautiful reality: Hope is a Person (1 Tim. 1:1).

Hope is a feeling. Hope is an action. But, most importantly, Hope is a Person.

As we let our hearts feel the emotion of hope and even turn that feeling into action, we can be assured that we will not be disappointed at the outcome, because our hope isn’t anchored in their fulfillment.

Living out hope

Here are some ways to live out our hope in the person of Jesus:

  1. Know the person. To know hope in our lives, we must know Jesus. Spend quiet time in his presence, scour his Word for his promises, and deepen your relationship with him through prayer.

  2. Feel the feeling. Let yourself feel hope for people and things in your life. When you know the Person of hope, the feeling of hope has its grounding in the steadfastness of Christ. You are free to share your dreams with God and others, knowing that the hope of Christ never disappoints—even though you may feel the disappointment of a temporal situation.

  3. Anchor the action. Hoping for healed hearts and relationships, less pain and suffering and abiding joy in life are good things. When that action is steadied by trust in Christ, you are free to love big, dream big, and live big for Christ and others.

Our hope is secured to the person and work of Jesus—already complete, always consistent, and forever trustworthy. God invites us to enjoy the feeling of hope coupled with the action of hope because of the Person who is Hope: Jesus Christ our Lord.

As Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”


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