The Folly of “Hoping For the Best”

Michael Beck

“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” (Proverbs 10:28)

The righteous should always rejoice in hope (Rom. 12:12). God wants those who walk in His ways to have an abundance of hope. What should our message be to the righteous? “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” (Isa. 3:10) But should we offer those who spurn God the same positive outlook? To the contrary, we should pronounce: “Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” (Isa. 3:11)

The hope of the righteous is not in vain. It is based on the solid foundation that God’s eyes are upon them and His ears are open to their prayers. (1 Pet. 3:12) The wicked “hope for the best” in vain. They can cross their fingers, knock on wood, or throw up a thousand “Hail Marys;” but if they have not repented of living their life far from the inspection and involvement of God; and if they have not been reconciled to Him through His Son, all their hope has no basis in reality. If they “dodge a bullet” here and there it is only a temporary reprieve; and in fact, may cause them to feel that much more invincible.

Do not envy those who are doing well on a pathway toward destruction. When trouble comes their way, don’t pray they will get out of it unscathed and unrepentant, continuing on in their “merry” godless way. There is a day of reckoning ahead for all who refuse to bow their knee to the Lord Jesus Christ. What hope is there in the words: “Depart from Me! I never knew you, you worker of iniquity”? In that day, there will be no wood to knock on, no more vain hopes to entertain.

“When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.” (Proverbs 11:7)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.