Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Expiration Date for Hope (Part I)

The theme for today’s blog carnival (hosted by Bridget Chumbley) is "Hope." To see what others are saying, visit her site
"One Word at a Time".

But for right now, until that completeness,
we have three things to do
to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.
~ Eugene Peterson, from The Message,
1 Corinthians 13:13

: : :

Expiration Date for Hope (Part I)

Hope. This blog carnival theme brought to mind three initial thoughts.

1. Hope can mean either "wish," without anything solid to rely upon ("I hope it doesn't rain"), or confident waiting for a reliable promise to be fulfilled.

2. Hope means waiting, whether it is expectant waiting (Hebrew yâchal—"hope, stay, tarry, trust"), or the possibly painful waiting engaged with someone else (Hebrew qâvâh—"twist together, writhe, lie in wait").

3. Hope, like faith, expires once it is fulfilled, unlike love, which lasts forever.

It comforts me to know that I won't always be waiting. When I get tired of waiting for various things with the wishing kind of hope, I remind myself to stick to the confident-expectation-in-God's-Word kind of hope. I know He'll fulfill some things on Earth, but everything will be fulfilled in Heaven. In Heaven, faith ceases when it becomes sight, hope is fulfilled, and waiting ends.

There is an expiration date for hope.

I'm presently blogging out of the book of Revelation, looking not at prophecy of events to come, but on prophecy which reveals the Lord Jesus and speaks of His bride, the church. Since chapter six was up for today, I thought to study it with "hope" in mind. This is what I read:

I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer ...
~ Revelation 6:9-11 (NIV)

(Close eyes. Smack palm on forehead. Groan.)

I must have read this passage—no exaggeration—fifty times, maybe even a hundred. And I just realized that waiting doesn't end in Heaven. Our loved ones are waiting for our arrival. Angels and saints alike are waiting for Earth's end game. Even the Lord Jesus is waiting for the day He will return and establish His kingdom.

Yes, there is an end of waiting, and an expiration date for hope—and it's not when we expire.

Consummation and the end of waiting doesn't happen when we reach the present Heaven, but when a new Heaven reaches us.

That is our confident expectation.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
~ Revelation 21:1 (NKJV)

Tomorrow, Part II—"Be Joyful in Hope" (Romans 12:12)

I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to
comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image source:


  1. Rev. 6:9-11 has always troubled me due to that very line ..."wait a little longer" ...

  2. Good post, Anne. I can't count ht e time a similar thing has happened -- you read a passage and then one day, you read it again, and it hits you upside the head.

  3. This is exactly why I believe we need to get good at waiting here b/c it doesn't end in a flash there. So much happens during the wait.

    THANK YOU for our e-card! You are a dear soul, Anne.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Love your thoughts here Anne. Hope will end, but love continues forever. What a thought! Thank you.

  5. Wonderful words and true beyond measure. Our hope is in Him!

  6. Interesting. Just yesterday that verse with the souls under the alter popped into my head. Yes waiting is our lot....waiting...waiting... waiting.... ;)

  7. WOW! Never saw that way before...thanks for sharing. "That is our confident expectation."

  8. He is our Hope. Our kinsman-redeemer. Our blood avenger. We wait with hope.

  9. Revelation is such a wealth of hope! I've never thought of how the angels, saints, the very Heavens, hopefully wait on us as much as we wait on them.

  10. Susan ~

    I always read that line in view of end times, knowing that I'm waiting. I cannot fathom how it never hit me that I'd still be waiting in Heaven. I hope you catch tomorrow's post.

  11. Glynn ~

    One more of the wonderful things about the "Living" Word is its ability to keep talking to us, its meaning hidden until the day the Holy Spirit opens our eyes. God's Word is ever new—like being in love.

  12. Wendy ~

    Have you ever heard the saying, "The more you complain, the longer God lets you live?"

    I'd like to think I bless more than complain. But waiting? As bad as I am at waiting—as much as I have to learn about it—God'll probably let me live til about a hundred and fifty.

  13. Jason ~

    That's why it's the greatest of the trio "Faith, hope and love"! It's never so fulfilled that it reaches an end. :D

  14. Karen ~

    I love that one of God's names is "Hope."

  15. T ~ Do be sure to catch Part II? ; )

    (If I can do it, you can ...)

  16. JC Dude ~

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to miss something so obvious (LOL!)

  17. Snady ~

    And in Heaven, we'll just keep going in worship of His names.

  18. Tammy ~

    What a grand time we'll have when we're finally together.

  19. Oh, this blesses my heart sis. I love you.

  20. Good work, Ann. Your devotion to Christ is apparent and admirable. Read several of these posts, since I haven't been by in a while. Your handling of "hope" is quite good. Lately, I've been working on some Christmas thoughts (JOY TO YOU, TOO). I'm trying to re-visit that event before being overwhelmed by the avalanche if merchandising. I'm trying to look at the cast of characters, the locale in time and history,etc. and have been thinking of some of the words used in the story which have been worn out, or overlooked. A "glossary" seems in order. If you have any time to consider: "Glory," "Joy" Messiah, Christ, etc and say it in today's vernacular, I'd love to have your thoughts. Bless you. Keep up your good work. ~donkimrey

  21. Denise ~

    I'm grateful for EVERY opportunity the Lord provides to bless you! I love you too.

  22. Helen ~

    Love seeing your smiling face here! :D

  23. Don ~

    I've filed away your suggestion and will look at addressing it for a Q&A post when the Christmas season is near. Thanks for the encouraging words. I don't take them for granted.

  24. Terrific post, Anne. So much to think about and be blessed by in these words. Thank you!

  25. Bridget ~

    Terrific topic. More thought-provoking than I really wanted ... but that's good.


Your comments are appreciated and you can expect a reply. If Blogger doesn't accept your comment, or if you prefer
another method, I hope you'll respond via Twitter or email
(see sidebar icons or the "Contact Me" tab, above).

(Comments to older posts and will appear after approval.)