Psalm 31:24 – Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.
Strength and courage come from a “hope in the Lord.” This is because the Lord never changes. “I the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). We can have confidence because the Lord is the hope of our salvation.
Our minds need to be trained in a hope that is rooted in God the Father. The world teaches us to hope in ourselves and become self-reliant. David learned to hope in the Lord. “For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You, I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You” (Psalm 71:5-6). This is the kind of mind-set we must develop in this matter of hope. It begins by knowing the Lord had an important part with our birth. Before we were converted, the Lord was already at work in His purposes for us. Some of us experienced times when our lives might have been shortened, except the Lord “sustained” us. I am grateful to have the same testimony as David, “You are my confidence from my youth.” Regardless of what stage of life we came to know the Lord, it is important to understand He had His hand upon us.
Hope is developed from a love for God’s word. “I hope for Your salvation, O Lord, and do Your commandments. My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You” (Psalm 119:166-167). The hope David possessed was not a maybe hope, but a sure knowledge of God’s faithfulness and enduring mercies. His confidence came from his relationship with God. Even in his failures, he trusted the Lord based upon God’s character and not his own perfection. “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2).
Solomon was taught by his father, King David, who had learned to hope in the Lord and trust His commandments. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded” (Proverbs 13:12-13). In his later years, Solomon forgot his own counsel. He experienced the “debt to the word.” Solomon began to depend on his own human wisdom. He was not able to transfer to his son what he had received from his father David.
Biblical hope affects more than our own life. It affects the generations. David’s hope in God has had a profound effect on millions down through the ages. David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to establish hope for mankind. Because of the cross and the resurrection, the Holy Spirit is able to impart an eternal hope that will fully be revealed at the Lord’s appearing. Tomorrow, we will consider “hope” as a New Covenant believer in Christ.
Father, I thank You for Your servant David, who laid such a wonderful foundation of hope through his words and his life testimony. I pray You will help me be established, day by day in the hope which the Holy Spirit imparts.