Hope - confident expectation
Our lives have changed dramatically in the last few weeks. Empty in a lot of places: Empty shops, highways, streets, amusement parks, stadiums, restaurants, malls, sports arena, churches, parliaments, some schools, government departments, airports, beaches, no tourists, hotels etc. When we see things like these, it is discouraging and depressing. Except of course the reduced traffic. You can have many choices where to go. Do you lose hope in times like this?
The word hope in English often conveys doubt. For instance, “I hope it will not rain tomorrow.” In addition, the word hope is often followed by the word “so”
Biblical hope is not a hope-so but it is a know-so. It is not wishing for the best. It is not waiting to see what happens and hope that it turns out well. Hope is not a feeling or an emotion.
To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future
The biblical definition of hope is "confident expectation.” Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown:
Heb.1:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” We have an illustration of this faith, in Heb.1:7 “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith”. Hope is a fundamental component of the life of the righteous.
Pro.23:18 “For surely there is a hereafter. And your hope will not be cut off”.
Romans 8:24-25 “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
We need God’s help to lift up our heads, hearts, and hands. Only God can cast out fear and discouragement. But once fear is cast out, we then have to build a positive Christian hope.
Biblical hope encourages us to moves forward: Christian hope longs for future glory which is founded upon the unchanging Word of God. The more we long for the future, the less we will yearn for the past. Hope deletes regrets and yearns for a better future. Hope energises the present: You value the present and it is worth living, because you are assured of a brighter future. Please value your life. Hope does not ignore the dark clouds covering us at the moment. But hope is always hopeful that behind the clouds there is a ray of lights that is able to remove the reality of darkness and painful realities of life.
Above all, hope increases our faith. Faith and hope are like brothers, they help each other. This is evident in Hebrews 11 which makes it very clear, that hope and faith are very closely linked together. They need each other. Without faith we cannot build our hope, but without hope faith is not strong as it should be. As shown in Hebrews 11 the greatest believers are the greatest hopers.
When it says “hope in God,” that means to have confidence in God. When Romans says to “abound in hope,” it means we should overflow with confidence in the promises of God. Biblical hope has as its foundation faith in God. Hope is a gift of God’s grace. Salvation is all by grace, Christian living and hoping is all by grace. We do not deserve it, but God gives it to us freely. All by grace and by grace alone. ( a few series, to be continued)