Saturday, January 21, 2017

Espera en Esperanza (Wait in Hope)

In my last blog post, I wrote about how the Lord gave me the word "wait" for this year, although I wanted my word for the year to be "hope." (If you want, you can read that post here.

To start this year off, I have been reading different Scripture passages that contain the word "wait." As I read and looked up the verses in different Bible versions, I realized where some versions use the word "wait," other versions use the word "hope." A little Goggle searching helped me find two Hebrew words that can be used to mean both "wait" and "hope." There is the verb sabar, which in the King James is translated as "hope" three times and "wait" two times. And there is the verb yachal, which is translated as "hope" twenty two times and "wait" twelve times.

I in no way claim to be a Hebrew scholar or know anything about the language. But it interests me how one word can have two seemingly very different meanings, both of which fit in the context of these verses.

I then started thinking of a language I do know a little bit better than Hebrew. In Spanish, the verb for wait and hope are both esperar and the noun form of the word "hope" is esperanza. (If I am starting to lose you with all this grammatical talk, please hang on, I think this is going somewhere good. And remember, I am a teacher!)

So in Spanish, the word for "wait" is contained within the word for "hope." And through that revelation, the Lord brought me to Psalm 33:20 (NIV), "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield."

Waiting and hoping were designed to go hand in hand. While we wait, we don't sit around and do nothing, but we hope, with expectation, in what God is going to do. And I still don't know exactly what that looks like. I think this is a lesson God will be teaching me all year long, but now I am ready to learn, open to how He would have me to "wait." 

I have waited with hope (sabar) for you to save me, O LORD. 
I have carried out your commandments. 
Psalm 119:166  

And I continually do wait with hope (yachal), 
And have added unto all Thy praise. 
Psalm 71:14 



  1. Very interesting! I was thinking of that Spanish verb "esperar" as I was reading the beginning of your blog! These internet "trials" you have experienced recently come to mind when I read this! I do believe God wants you to "wait and expect" Him to work it all out!

  2. Everytime I read one of your posts I wonder how did you get so very wise.

  3. So you got me thinking, since I teach ESOL and love etymology and language. Your blog took me to Isaiah 40:31. The word "wait there also has dual meaning in the Hebrew "to wait, look for, hope expect." God is so wise. Faith is waiting with the certain hope that God is going to answer prayer, deliver us through a trial, or lift us up in time of trouble, all to bring him glory. Thank you for sharing.