My Hope is Built

Not long ago, I was on my bike headed towards a nearby town[1]. It was one of those days where I just needed to get away; I left church and started pedaling out of town on the county road with my goal in mind. I started my journey uphill; I went up the first big hill and then down half a hill and up the next big hill and then down the next half hill, etc[2]. It was exhausting. In my head, each hill discouraged me more and more until I finally gave up and turned Sylvia[3] around and made my way back into town. After 4 miles, I had my first glimpse of familiarity: The water tower. Hope flushed through my body like the first sip of coffee in the morning; the bike ride would be over, it would be over soon. All I could see before was hill after hill, climb after climb, fight after fight. Now, I knew, I was close to home.

Psalm 121, one of the psalms of accents[4], has offered hope to Christians for decades.

However, it seems that it held a much deeper meaning for the original hearers (singers) of the psalm. I heard a pastor preach on this psalm not that long ago. He shared a delightful sermon on how the idols in those days were worshiped on top of the mountains. So, when the people sang, “I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from”, they were making a statement not only about God’s sovereignty, but also about his might, power, and love. It’s as if the original singers could have also sung something like this: “I lift my eyes up to the other god’s and laugh for my help comes from the Lord, the one who made the mountains that the idols stand on.”

As delightful and scriptural as that sermon was, I must admit that the thing that still resonates in my mind when I read this psalm is the hope that we have in Jesus. So yes, the psalm may have meant, “Screw you, idols; our God is better than you”, but I think the meaning goes deeper. This is a psalm of hope and trust. We will, regardless of the circumstances in our lives or how many hills we have to climb in a row, look to OUR God who made the heavens and the earth. To lift up, not only our eyes, but also our hearts to the One who created everything, the one on whom we build our hope.

There have been many times in my life when, not by choice, I have lost hope in my circumstances or what God is doing in my life. But by the grace of God, I no longer doubt who He is or forget to trust Him. The hope that I have in God is a capital H-O-P-E kind of hope; a Romans 5 kind of hope. A hope that rests in the fact that God is who he is and that’s all I need. So even when walking through the Psalm 23 valleys or after biking up 5 consecutive hills, even if I lose hope in everything around me, my hope is still grounded in MY God. Praise Him for He IS H-O-P-E[5], through everything.



[1] ok, so maybe not that near-by; 15 miles is quite a way by bike. Spoiler alert…I didn’t make it.

[2] People who think that Iowa is flat clearly have never tried to pedal 15 miles.

[3] If you don’t recall from one of my earlier blogs… that is the name of my bike. She is teal and the kind of spunky that also makes her beautiful.

[4] There is a group of psalms in the bible that is labeled as the song of accents. This means that the people who would make the journey sang them as they traveled up to Jerusalem.

[5] It’s who he is… and G-O-O-D. It’s who he is.


2 thoughts on “My Hope is Built

  1. Say… Who was the pastor with the delightful sermon? =)
    Thanks for sharing these follow-up thoughts on a favorite psalm of mine, Gabby.


  2. So good to hear words from your heart and the Holy Spirit within you. Love in Him, Aunt Eillean


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