What is hope? This is a definition we often think of for hope.
Hope is the unshakeable belief
that no matter how bad our circumstances,
that somehow, someway,
everything will turn out alright in the end.
It’s a definition that often applies. But is it what the Bible is talking about when it refers to hope? It is certainly an American view of hope isn’t it? Hope can mean anything from “I hope I win the lottery” when I know good and well it is highly unlikely. To “I hope my new car runs tomorrow” which is very likely because it has all been checked out. The English word for hope can also include everything in between those two meanings! In some cultures, including portions of our country, hope would likely be described as an impossible dream!
However, a more Biblical definition is based on the Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible. It answers the question: What is the hope of those who are trusting in Christ alone for their salvation?
Hope is confident expectation
based on the person and promises of GOD.
This hope is no small thing! Hope is based on concrete, objective truth, not wishes or dreams. The truth of GOD’s promises are real and concrete. Hope is based on the person of Jesus that we saw in human form as well as the personality of GOD. This is why it is important for those of us who claim to be Christians, to be grounded in the truth of who GOD is and what His promises are.
And every priest stands daily at his service,
offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God,
waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain,
that is, through his flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:11-25 ESV
Yes, this is a long passage with a lot packed into it! It contains a lot of good news and a lot of solid hope! We don’t need to have a conscience loaded down with guilt. We don’t even need to feel overwhelmed. It happens, but it isn’t necessary. The sacrificial system in the Old Testament pointed ahead to the good news of the gospel. But it was unable to help the guilty conscience of a person. Only Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was able to deal with our guilt when Christ paid for our sin once and for all…all of it!
**This is our hope. Our faithful GOD has forgiven us in Christ. We can come confidently into the presence of a holy GOD because of this undeserved forgiveness. We no longer have to have a conscience plagued with guilt because His sacrifice on the cross did the complete job of forgiveness for all time for His people. That is why we have hope for both the present AND the future. (my summary of this passage.)
How would you summarize this passage? That is a good way to wade through all the prepositional phrases and get to the heart of it. Summarize it in your own words and in just a couple of sentences.
Memorizing GOD’s Word
I understand that you won’t memorize all the passages I put up for you, but notice that many of them are repeated. They are basic to many issues you face. I find that often a longer passage can be easier than a short verse because it gives me the context and it all flows easier. Yes, the prepositional phrases may drive you nuts, but realizing why they are there will help you understand what you are memorizing and meditating on.