The Amplified Bible explains the biblical concept of hope as “the confident expectation of good.” This phrase has been rumbling around in my heart for the past half of a year. I sense a confident expectation of the goodness of God in my life. Even when I don’t see how God is working, or how he will come through, I have great hope in my heart that He is working things out for my good, and His glory. My circumstances can’t cause me to doubt that God cares for me, fights for me, and will come through for me in whatever ways He knows is best.
Where do you need God to work in your life? What areas do you feel have grown cold or stale in the waiting? You, too, can trust that God cares more than you know, He’s working more than you can see right now, and when you look back over your life, you will see the surprising goodness of God at every turn.
A good part of our lives are spent in God’s waiting room. Waiting for God’s direction. Waiting for God’s help to follow His call. Waiting on God’s promises. Waiting for God’s mercy and grace in the situations and needs of our life. And in these waiting seasons we can always have hope that God’s goodness is very real and present. We can wait with “eager expectation” that something very good is coming our way, both in this life, and especially in eternity with God.
God is working more than we can see right now. He has our best interests in His mind and heart for us. Even a human father with all his imperfections would do absolutely anything to care for what is on His child’s heart, and we have a perfect Father in heaven who also promises to care for us. His heart is for us like a lovesick father for his child. Many times Scripture shows this analogy of God as our heavenly Father, because God wants us to think of His love and care that way. Romans 8:15-16 tells us, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” This is God’s Father heart to show us His great love for us, and how much He cares for us as His own children when we have put our trust in Christ. You can live with a confident expectation of God’s fatherly care in your life.
Here are five biblical reminders for your own heart, when you long for a confident expectation to rise up in your heart:
A confident expectation that God has a good plan for my life
God sees everything, and He knows everything. He has the 10,000-foot view for our lives and our futures. Circumstances that don’t make sense to us now are not surprising to our God in heaven with perfect knowledge of us, our future and everything else on earth.
We can trust and follow God’s plan for our lives, and know that it is for our good—the instructions in the Bible about our conduct and attitudes, and the specific gifts, and leading we sense God has created us for.
When I started out in Bible college, I had been leading worship many times each week, and even though I had a growing sense of God’s calling on my life to evangelism, I thought I would study music. God began to direct my heart to study toward preaching ministry. It didn’t make sense to me back then, but I see how God has clearly and graciously guided my steps. He will do the same for you if you follow Him.
2. A confident expectation of God’s goodness even in the midst of suffering
This life is not always easy. But we can bear all things, and endure all things through a strength and grace that is not our own. We have the resources of the God of heaven behind us. He promises to be with us, to help us, to give us the grace that is sufficient for all circumstances we might face in our lives.
Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I have a confident expectation of the goodness of God in my life. Even in my pain. Even in my hardships. Even in my disappointments.
Earlier in verse 18 and 23, Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed… We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
Are you going through a hard time? Are you struggling to see God’s care for you? He wants to help you and strengthen you. He wants to give you an assurance of His great care over your life. He loves you, and He will continue to work on your behalf.
3. A confident expectation that God will provide for my needs
Over and over again I have seen God provide abundantly in my life. God may not do everything I hope He will, but He often does beyond what I ask or imagine. God surprises and delights me as His child, and He teaches me about what truly matters in life. God cares about the things that concern me.
The Bible tells us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
4. A confident expectation that other people can’t interrupt God’s plan for my life
Romans 8:31-38 reminds us that if we’ve been cleared by God, no one can condemn us or keep us from His goodness. No one can separate us from His love.
Listen, if the love of God is over your life, everything else is peripheral. You can walk around full of faith and confidence, because there is a God in heaven who loves you with an eternal love.
5. A confident expectation of all the benefits that come from seeking Him
The Bible lays out a basis for true faith in Hebrews 11, sometimes called “The Faith Chapter” of the Bible. Without faith it is impossible to please God. God is a God of faith. That is what He calls for from His people, and so we shouldn’t be surprised when the circumstances of our lives require us to have faith in God and His goodness. Faith is what it takes to follow God in a broken world.
So, the writer of Hebrews tells us, we must believe God exists, and then that God is a rewarder of those that seek Him. That’s it. That’s the basis of what it means to live by faith. The essential belief is that God is real, and that God will reward you when you seek Him and follow Him. There are always greater blessings on the other side of our obedience to Jesus. God calls you to follow Him for a reason—because He wants to bless and reward you. You will experience the goodness of God when you seek Him—when you press in in faith even when the world around you is trying to pull you away in doubt.
The Psalmist also expressed this when He said “forget not all His benefits.” There is a common grace for every person on earth. Everyone experiences the goodness of God to some degree. Every person experiences the warmth of the sun, and the refreshment of rain. But only those who seek God, believe God and follow Christ experience the rewards, benefits and grace of His work in our lives. We access these many benefits by our hope and faith in His goodness that leads us to seek and press into His promises.
So believe again. Hope again. God will reward you. He is with you, and He fights your battles when you wait for Him. You can trust in and experience His goodness even in the midst of the pain and chaos of our world. If you need more hope in your life, I encourage you to read and re-read Romans 8, until you feel this confident expectation of the goodness of God rise up in your soul.
This article originally appeared here.