Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Happiness of Divine Expectation

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God.
(Psalm 146:5)
There is deep happiness in knowing that there is One who will be a sure and certain help for you no matter what happens. Contrast this with what the psalm writer says in verses 3 and 4:
Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.
It is good to have friends and favor with those in high places. There may be many who are kindly intentioned toward you, and have wonderful plans about what they are going to do for you. But circumstances often change for them, as they do for you and me. Their plans fall through for various reasons, and when they die, their plans die with them. That can leave you hanging.

But “happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” The Hebrew word for “hope” does not speak of uncertainty, but of expectation. It is not wishful thinking: “I hope such and such will happen, but I just don’t know.” It is a solid anticipation, a joyful expectation. That kind of expectation can come only from trusting in God.

Faith and expectation go together. The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Like the Hebrew, the Greek word for “hope” means “expectation.” The word for “substance” refers to the underlying reality of a thing. So faith is the underlying reality of the things we are expecting to see happen.

Now, faith must be based upon something, and it can be no more certain than that upon which it is based. The apostle Paul said that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). When God says something, we can fully rely upon it and expect to see it come to pass.

There is great happiness in setting your expectation in God, knowing that you can always rely on Him to help you in any situation.