The word “hope” in the New Testament is elpis (Strong’s NT:1680). It is defined as expectation, to anticipate (usually with pleasure), confidence and security. In a good sense, expectation of good, hope, and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. The author of hope, or He who is its foundation. The thing hoped for. Translated in some verses in the KJV as faith.
Hebrews 6:19 says that hope is an anchor to the soul. When the storms come and the winds blow, hope will keep us firmly secured so that we are not tossed to and fro.
Sometimes situations happen in life where we are tempted to give up, where we begin to lose hope.
Some have lost hope, or are just hanging on by a thread. You’ve waited on the Lord, have prayed many prayers, have cried many tears … yet the promise has not come to pass yet. The healing that you are believing for has not manifested yet.
But don’t give up, because He WILL show up.
This is a prayer that the Psalmist David penned when he was in distress. Depression and hopelessness had set in and he found himself in a pit of despair.
Psalms 69:2-3, 14-17 AMP
2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overwhelm me.
3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail with waiting [hopefully] for my God.
14 Rescue me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me and from out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the floodwaters overflow and overwhelm me, neither let the deep swallow me up nor the [dug] pit [with water perhaps in the bottom] close its mouth over me.
16 Hear and answer me, O Lord, for Your loving-kindness is sweet and comforting; according to Your plenteous tender mercy and steadfast love turn to me.
17 Hide not Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress; O answer me speedily!
David had been anointed as king, yet spent several years of his life hiding in caves and fleeing from Saul. Those were difficult years but God brought him through it. Eventually, the promise was fulfilled in his life. He was appointed as king over Judah for 7 years, then king over all Israel for the next 33 years, totaling 40 years.
David said in Psalms 27:13-14, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” NASU
The year was approximately 1997 or 1998. I had hit a low place in my life. Proverbs 13:12 says that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life. I was going through burn out. I was working full time, going to college in the evenings and Saturdays, plus other activities I was involved in. I did a lot of commuting on the hectic freeways in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a daily basis. Sometimes I didn’t get home until after 10:30pm, then would start the next cycle the following morning.
Also, I was distressed with problems in my family. Plus, hopelessness set in waiting for some promises to come to pass in my life. I reached a point where hope had been lost and I wanted to go to heaven. I fell into a deep depression. The pain was more than I could bear. I never did attempt to commit suicide, but thoughts of dying, suicide and going to heaven were on my mind a lot.
One evening I was sitting on the edge of my bed with thoughts going through my mind of wanting to die and go on to heaven. Meanwhile, my mother was in the family room watching the Praise the Lord broadcast on TBN. My mother rushed into my room and told me that Jan Crouch had a word of knowledge that there was a woman who was thinking about dying, had suicidal thoughts on her mind (although, as I said, I never attempted to kill myself). When Jan Crouch gave that word of knowledge, my mother knew it was for me and she was right.
Around that same time, I was sleeping and had a vision during the night. I don’t know if I woke up and saw the vision or if I was asleep the whole time. All I know is that it was SO real and tangible. I was asleep and then I opened my eyes and saw an Asian woman (around in her 20’s or 30’s) who I did not recognize. She was sitting on the edge of my bed in front of me. She said that she came to give me a word from the Lord, and it was along the same lines as the word of knowledge from Jan Crouch. The Lord (through her — maybe she was an angel) told me the consequences if I were to go through with ending it all. (I would end up in hell.) I immediately repented.
Psalms 40:1-3 in the Amplified Version says,
1 I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.
3 And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord. [Psalms 5:11.]
God promises to transform our valley of trouble into a door of hope.
Hosea 2:15-16 (AMP) says,
15 There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
16 And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi [my Husband], and you shall no more call Me Baali [my Master].
The Easton’s Bible Dictionary goes into detail about the Valley of Achor. Achor means “trouble”. This valley was near Jericho, and identified as the Wady Kelt. It was named after the consequence of the trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Joshua 7:24-26).
The expression “Valley of Achor” became proverbial for that which caused trouble. When Isaiah 65:10 refers to it, the Valley of Achor would be a place for herds to lie down. Meaning, that which had been a source of calamity would become a source of blessing. Hosea 2:15 uses the expression in the same sense. The Valley of Achor (trouble) would be for a door of hope. Trouble would be turned into joy, despair into hope.
If we will surrender to the Lord, He will turn our Valley of Achor into a door of hope. It will not only bring hope to us, but we in turn will be able to offer other people hope who are going through the same thing.