In the past year, I have been using the H- word a lot. But I realize that we often have a foggy understandings of what Biblical hope is. It has been a powerful word to GOD’s people down through history. It has been profound. I have had to ask myself this question. Why has hope been such a strong word to the people of GOD during a time when they were facing horrible persecution? Much of the reason is lost in the translation of the word!
In English, the word has a very broad range of meaning. It can mean anything from “I hope I win the lottery.” (A hope that is nearly an impossible dream!) to “I hope I can lose 10 pounds on this new diet.” (A mixed hope depending on a variety of factors.) to “We have a hope for Jesus’ return.” (An absolute certainty based on the promises of GOD!)
The definition of the Biblical word for hope
And that is the definition of the Biblical use of hope! It is confident expectation or an absolute certainty based on the promises of GOD. He promised a coming Savior. That Savior didn’t look like what they were expecting, nor did He come on the expected time frame. But He came. It was totally when GOD planned. In the way He planned. And everything He planned to be done during that short 33 years, was done and completed thoroughly! Not one thing was left undone.That is the definition of the Biblical use of hope! It is confident expectation or an absolute certainty based on the promises of GOD. Click To Tweet
So we can put our hope in Christ and His promises. We can put our hope in the work He did on the cross. It was complete and totally purchased our salvation. Jesus’ death paid for our sin. Because of Him, we can stand complete and dressed in Christ’s righteousness. We are part of His family now and heirs to His Kingdom. The work He did was totally sufficient to pay for the sin of each person who has accessed His glorious grace and mercy.He promised a coming Savior. That Savior didn't look like what they were expecting, nor did He come on the expected time frame. But He came. It was totally when GOD planned. Click To Tweet
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,
but because of him who subjected it,
in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption
and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved.
Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:18-24 ESV
Action plan: Make a list of some promises of GOD from both the Old and New Testaments that you come across today. What promises from the Old Testament have been fulfilled? Which ones remain to be fulfilled? Which ones are true and continue to encourage you? (Such as Psalms that refer to GOD as our fortress, refuge, Shepherd, etc.)
Often, I find it helpful to put a promise in one or two word form in my Bible Gateway website or app (you need to choose your preferred translation.) Then look at the different verses that you find. You will find much encouragement there. I promise.