As the NHL and NBA seasons are getting underway, the comments of basketball and hockey fans across North America focus on hope for the new season. Of course, for NBA fans, their first hope is that there will even be a season following this ongoing labor dispute between the players and the owners. Beyond that, fans of the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) and the Boston Bruins (NHL) are hoping for a repeat of championship glory. Fans of previous champs, the LA Lakers and the Chicago Blackhawks, are hoping for a return to the top. Fans of other teams have hopes that range from wanting to see their teams compete for the title to the desire that they have a measure of relevance to hoping they don’t have an embarrassing campaign. All may be hopeful, but all hopes are not created equal.
What we typically call hope is little more than happy thoughts, dreams, or wishes. What the Bible calls hope is something that is confident, strong, and significant because it is rooted in the God of hope. Paul told the Romans: “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” (Romans 15:13).
The confident hope our God offers enables us to live without the timidity and fear that hopelessness engenders. Because God is the source of our hope, we need not base our life-perspectives on wishes and dreams. Rather, we can confidently look to Him—the One who is sufficient in all things and gracious in His desires for us. We can live by hope—real hope—for He is our hope.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain