I first read it and thought oh that's good. Then I thought about it for another moment and realized there is a big difference between the two. It's easy to answer the what you hope for part. I hope for health and happiness, I hope to have children someday, I hope we pay off our house someday, I hope for lots of things. But reading this made me realize that sometimes those hopes can feel empty or hopeless. On days I struggle with feeling sad about not having children - that hope doesn't sustain me...it can almost bring me down more with the enormousness of how long I feel that I have been hoping, and waiting, for it.
But when I think of what you hope in, that is a completely different question. It's not as simple as everyday circumstances. What I hope in is Jesus. That God is in the driver seat and has a plan for my life that is perfect. I may not be able to see that plan and it can be painful at times but only because I am focusing on the situation at hand, and not on what I hope in. Hoping for can be empty and feel like it may never happen. Hoping for when you really focus on it long enough can shut out all light around it and be a stumbling block and feel never ending. But when I fix my eyes on the truth that is in Jesus and that He has a plan for me, and that I will spend eternity with Him in heaven - that is what I hope in. I know a God who loves me and has the best planned for me even when I don't agree.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
When I focus on what I hope in, it makes the what I hope for more bearable. It makes it so that things don't seem forever away or hopeless. It makes the hoping for seem more hopeful. Concentrating on what is real and true and good - that God cares for me and takes care of me and truly has the best for me - that is what I hope in, and what sustains me.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13