I’ve been forced to ask myself lately, “When I pray, what is my hope in?” Is my hope in the longed for answer? If so, my hope is in my own imagination, how I want things to be. Is my hope in the change of the person I am praying for? If so, my hope is in another person’s decision. Is my hope in being able to understand what is going on in the midst of a confusing situation? If so, my hope is in my own wisdom.
My hope can only be in God, in His work. While I can “hope” that a person will change and turn from their evil ways and follow God, my hope cannot be in that, because the person might not choose to do so. That is when I am disappointed, that is why I am confused when I read “hope does not disappoint.” It is a fine thing to know that God can do all things, but it is equally important to know He does not do all things.
I don’t know the balance, nor can I ever understand how God works things. But I know He said to pray, and I know He said to hope in Him, not in my circumstances, not in other people. In that hope, I will never be disappointed.