Editor’s note: Danny Forshee is president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin.
Mental health and wholeness are important topics to me. God has helped me so much and used people in my life to lift me from anxiety and depression, and I love to help others come out of their doldrums. So many in our world are depressed and in desperate need of hope.
Some of the hopelessness in our world has its origins in macro issues like the wars in Ukraine and Israel and in other tragic stories we read about in places like Haiti and Sudan. There is a more existential, personal hopelessness that pervades the lives of so many even in our great state of Texas. Many have turned away from the God of the Bible and His foundational teachings regarding how to live as people of faith.
But I have good news: there is hope! One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 15:13. God has used this verse powerfully in my life and I believe He will bless you as you meditate on it as well: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The Greek word translated “hope” is “elpis,” and interestingly, the Lexham Bible Dictionary says, “The word appears in the New Testament only as a verb or noun, never as an adverb or adjective. That is likely because the emphasis is not on the subjective states of mind we have when we say ‘hopefully’ or ‘hopeful.’ Rather, hope in the New Testament has an objective focus.”
Here is my definition of hope: the confident assurance that all will be well because God is with us. The key to living in hope is we must believe. Ephesians 1:19 states, “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” When we believe, God causes us to abound in hope. It is the match that ignites the fire of the Holy Spirit. Belief or trust is the key that unlocks the treasuries of God’s multitude of blessings upon our lives.
I want to encourage you to live out the Christian life the way you began, and that is by faith. Three times the Bible says those who know the Lord will live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, and Galatians 3:11.)
Believe God for great days. He has a wonderful plan for your life filled with hope, peace, and joy. Trust God and enjoy a life of wonderful hope, the assurance that God is in control and all will be well.
Hope has a name: Jesus!