The common use of hope in the Bible means confident expectation based on the person and promises of GOD.
So when we talk about hope, we also need to discuss who GOD is and what HIs promises are. It is a true recipe for hope, isn’t it?
Who is GOD?
When we are discouraged, stopping to think about who GOD is can be very encouraging. GOD has shown us the full extent of His love for us for sure! He (the Son, Jesus) left the glory and privilege of heaven to come to earth and live in poverty and eventually die a horrendous death on our behalf not because of sin He committed, but on behalf of our sin. He lived 33 years on earth without committing a sin in thought, word or deed. He also did not commit sins of omission. It is difficult to imagine being around someone like this.The standard payment for sin was that blood needed to one shed. Someone had to die. So Jesus did. He was the sacrifice for the sin of mankind. It was effective for all who repented and received this gift of grace.
When He rose from the dead, He showed that He had won the victory over sin and death! “It is finished.” was no small statement. Sin and death had been beaten. The full reality would not show for awhile, but the battle had been won.
What else about GOD do we need to know? All through the Bible we learn about GOD and who He is. We find out about GOD from stories, narratives, poetry, and teaching passages. Here are some descriptions of who He is:
- full of steadfast love for His people,
- Sovereign…to name just a few. We find out about GOD from stories, narratives, poetry, and teaching passages.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, and you said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”;
therefore you shall flee away;
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
like a signal on a hill.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him
Isaiah 30:15-18 ESV
This passage includes both attributes of GOD and promises of GOD. That’s why I included it. So you can see it all together. You can also see a surprising combination of attributes. These people have rebelled against GOD, yet what attributes does it talk about? GOD’s grace and mercy as well as His justice.
What has He promised?
But we also come across many promises. All through the Bible, we come across these promises
- “I am with you always.”
- “I have loved you with an eternal love.”
- “I have taken your sin and moved it as far as the east is from the west.”
- “I will remember your sin no more.”
- “I am the same yesterday, today and forever.”
- and many others.
Of course, the promises listed and the traits of GOD mentioned only scratch the surface. But they get you started thinking about who GOD is and what He has promised.
Action Step: As you read His Word, make a note of what it says about who GOD is or what He has promised. As you keep track, you will have a wealth of truth listed as time goes by. When you feel low on hope, it’s a great place to go. Fill your mind with the truth of who GOD is rather than the twisted ideas of who He is. He isn’t Santa Claus, nor is He a mean judge waiting to see if you are having fun and then crushing it. He doesn’t have favorites. We can’t do things that make Him love us more than He already does.