Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Can there be joy when a wave of depression drags you endlessly out to sea? Can there be joy when a seizure of anxiety sweeps over and knocks the air from your lungs? Can there be joy when troubled circumstances or physical illness shakes the tilt of your axes? Can there be joy when the future is so unpredictable? Can I authentically express joy when someone asks me, “how are you?”
I can because of where my joy comes from.
Our English understandings of the word hope can be loosely tied to ideas of positive or wishful thinking. The Hebrew word for hope in the Old Testament (Tikvah), however, is more substantial. From the root word qavah it means literally, a cord (as an attachment), as well as referring to longing and expectation. Tikvah – hope – is a rope to hold onto.
In the book of Joshua, the story of Rahab beautifully illustrates both the literal and figurative threads of hope that anchor our joy. We see Rahab literally hanging a cord (Tikvah) of red from her window as a sign of her longing and expectation that God will rescue her (Joshua 2:21). The word Tikvah is used here in the literal sense, but it gives a picture of hope in action. Rahab had to wait patiently in uncertainty and calamity. She had to cry out in faithful and faith-filled prayer to the God she knew was the only hope of her salvation.
Yes, there can be joy; it is profoundly deep and consuming because the hope it is anchored in is firm and secure, gloriously revealed in salvation through Jesus (Hebrews 6:19).
In Christ Alone / Cornerstone / The Solid Rock (Caleb + Kelsey)