The advent of the new year is all about hope. We hope the good things we have experienced in the outgoing year will continue and increase. We hope the bad things we have experienced will diminish or disappear.
But hoping is far different from wishing. Merely wishing for similar or different results will call for a magic lamp or some other remarkable device to provide any assurance of success. Hope carries with it a certain sense of expectation. We have learned a little bit more about the world and what we can expect from it. We have learned a little bit more about ourselves and what we are capable of.
We can wish for better health, or relationships, or attitudes, or we can inspire real hope in ourselves by altering our behavior. Wishes, despite what Walt Disney would have us believe, do not come true. But hope springs eternal for those who take control of their futures and guide them to the best of their ability.
Nothing is a better demonstration of this than our walk of faith. The hope we have in Jesus “does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5) because it is “both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19), having been anchored in heaven through Jesus. The stronger our connection to Jesus, the stronger our hope.
Other hopes often disappoint because they depend on factors beyond our complete control This hope is different. We still lack complete control, but we rejoice in knowing God is steering our boat, true and steady toward our predetermined destination. Hold onto Jesus, hold onto hope, hold onto heaven.