Did you know that hope can help you last long and finish strong? The Bible talks a lot about hope and its power to help us endure. Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica: “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3).
Turns out there’s some research to back up the importance of hope to our survival. A study that took place in the 1950’s showed how hope helped laboratory rats persevere in a stressful situation. The group of rats were purportedly placed in a vat of water and swam for about fifteen minutes to the point of exhaustion and near drowning. They were rescued, dried off, fed, and allowed to recover, before being placed in the water again. This time, they kept swimming in the water for many hours before becoming exhausted and needing to be rescued again. Apparently, the rats sensed if they could be rescued once, they could be rescued again—thus giving them hope to endure.
The human version of hope, of course, runs much deeper. It was God Himself who placed the need for hope in our hearts. In fact, He is referred to as the “God of Hope”(Romans 15:13). It makes sense that the Bible would remind us of how our endurance is “inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Bible also encourages us to wait for hope—and this takes perseverance. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance” (Romans 8:25 NET).
What does it mean to wait for hope with endurance? We discover an interesting secret by looking at the Greek word translated “endure,” hypomeno. It actually comes from two words: hypo or “under” and meno or “abide.” Meno is the same word Jesus uses when He encourages us to abide in him (John 15:7). So hypomeno, or endure is to “abide under” a time of trial as we wait for hope.
Friend, I don’t know what kind of trial you may be facing today. And I don’t know the dream you hold so dear in your heart. But what I do know is that abiding in Jesus can bring hope–and hope can inspire you to keep enduring while you wait.
So my prayer for you today is simply this: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).