Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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In the Webster dictionary "hope" is defined as a desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment. In our everyday life hope is prevalent and needed. Hope is called upon because we are limited in the direction of our own affairs. A certainty given in our lives is trouble and burdens. Life is filled with  grief producing trials bringing about sorrows. Job declared that man's days are full of trouble (Job 14:1). These troubles and burdens can beat us down in life where we can become overwhelmed. When we look at all the calamity that had beset Job we find that he was in a state of despair and felt that hope was lost. We find in Job 6:11 him making this statement "What is my strength that I should hope?" and in Job 17:15 "And where is now my hope? As for my hope, who shall see if?". When our spirit becomes broken we are vulnerable to losing hope and confidence. Hope can be removed or uprooted like a tree (Job 19:7-10) and hope can be lost (Ezekiel 19:5). We find that when hope is diminished or lost it produces sorrow and we then begin living without joy in our life. Proverbs 13:12 says "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.." and Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 "that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope." Hope is needed and necessary in our life and the only source to draw our hope from is God. We are told in Psalm 146:5 "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help whose hope is in the Lord his God" and in Jeremiah 17:7 "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is." Psalm 39:4-7 declares that because of the brevity of life our hope should be set in God. "And now Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee." In Psalm 78:1-7 we find that because of God's strength and his wonderful works that he hath done we should "set our hope in God and not forget the works of God." When we set our hope and trust in God it gives Him great pleasure. "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy" (Psalm 147:11). For the peace and tranquility that we need in our life we must follow what is recorded in Psalm 16:8,9 "I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope." God is the true and only source of joy and peace (Romans 15:13). We can have a hope that is confident as an anchor (Hebrews 6:17-19) and a hope that will lead us even through death (Proverbs 14:32).


- Larry Bumgardner