God gives faith, hope, and love. However, He does not believe, hope, and love for anyone. The believer must believe. The faithful must lived confidently expecting that God will keep His promises. Those conformed to Christ must love God supremely and love others as they love themselves. Psalm 130 speaks of our responsibility to hope in the Lord:
“O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Psalm 130:7–8)
The psalmist locates the source of hope from the depths of despair. That is the nature of hope. If our greatest joys are realized, what need is there for hope? “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD” (Psalm 130.1)!
Verse 3 demonstrates how fearful it is to recognize one’s own sinfulness. None are able to stand if the LORD should mark our iniquities. While this ought to make people tremble, there is forgiveness and mercy with the LORD (v. 4). He shall redeem those who put their hope in Him. His redemption is complete. It is from all iniquities (v. 7). Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. That is fuel for hope. Still, acting us these profound truths are a discipline and a responsibility rising up to meet us daily.
Hope is Your Responsibility
Do not ever get the idea that hope is what people often think of the word today. Moderns tend to believe that hope is a hope-so/maybe-so proposition. There is much doubt loaded into the common conception of hope today. Bible hope is the confident expectation that God will definitively do as He has promised. There is absolutely no doubt about it. Therefore, Bible hope leads to confidence in prayer as long as we are patient and persistent. Prayer, patience, and persistence are all responsibilities or disciplines belonging to those who trust in God.
Even out of the depths we must cry, “Lord, hear us …hear our supplications.” Jesus said,…
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7–8)
Who asks? Who seeks? Who knocks? Believers do. Jesus is teaching us to be confident or hope-filled in our prayer. Why? He does so because the Father gives and opens. He will be found if we are patient and persistent.
We say our hope is in the LORD, but do we pray like our hope is in the LORD? The worst thing we could do in life is to pretend we have hope and fail to pray confidently. Anemic prayer is fueled by an inaccurate understanding of who God is and what He desires for you. Christians are His. They have the promises. They are the loved like no others are loved in this world. We do not deserve it. We do not earn it. Yet, God freely gives to His children. So, confidently cry out from the depths of your life and put those promises to the test!
However, those who cultivate biblical hope must develop patience and persistence. This is your responsibility before God.
The hopeful child of God is willing to wait for the LORD. It is in His word that we hope. We yearn for the morning light to flood into our terrified night (vv. 5-6). Paul writes, “If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8.25).
If we are impatient in the depths, we are spiritually immature, unbelieving, and/or despairing. The day will surely come. God will make all things right. You may not see it, but faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11.1). God blesses those who are willing to wait.
Supplementing patience is the idea of persistence. Only the patient persist.
The patient persist. They cling to God and hope in Him (v. 5). They understand that nothing is too hard for the LORD. Circumstances and people tend to sap strength and hope. So, when all is contrary to hope, in hope we believe even as Abraham did. He became the father of many nations according to the spoken word (promise) of God (Romans 4.18). Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13.15a). Persistence is key because patience is stretched thin at times.
Hope is my responsibility. Hope is a confident expectation that God will do as He has promised. This brings confidence to my prayer, patience to my character, and persistence to my daily walk.
But don’t look at what you’re going through. Don’t focus on the pit you’re in. Instead, focus on these three assurances found in Psalm 130:
- God’s character is merciful.
- God’s work is redemptive.
- God’s word is certain.
God’s character is merciful.
“With the LORD there is mercy” (v. 7). Hope-filled and yet flawed believers know the mercy of God firsthand. He saves the broken, contrite heart. God delights in mercy (Micah 7.18). The Lord is rich to all who call upon Him (Romans 10.12). God doesn’t look at how miserable you are or how wonderful. He looks to see if you are broken and crying out to Him from the depths.
God’s work is redemptive.
The text says, “With Him is abundant redemption” (v. 7). We have greater promise than the psalmist had. Jesus paid it all! There is grace in Christ Jesus. It’s unending in its supply. We hope in this redemption.
God’s word is certain.
“He shall” (v. 8) because He has spoken. Not one word He has spoken has failed. Therefore, we hope in God. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1.18).
Today, Israel as a nation needs to relearn these great truths. We should make certain we protect them and pass them on to the next generation. If we don’t, our children may need to relearn them too.
“…Hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem [us] from all [our] iniquities.” (Psalm 130:7–8)