Today we are going to move onto our second theme in this series ‘Hope’. (remembering we are looking at faith / hope / love). There are many key terms and concepts in Scripture like faith, hope, love, joy, grace, peace, etc. that we come across as we read our Bibles, but often these are just vague concepts for many people. Over the next days I ‘hope’ to provide a condensed biblical explanation of hope as it is found in the Word of God.
What is hope? Is it a wishy washy maybe or a kind of unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.”
In Scripture, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word “hope” and according to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic today in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation.
Hope may refer to the activity of hoping, or to the object hoped for—the content of one’s hope. By its very nature, hope stresses two things: (a) futurity, and (b) invisibility. It deals with things we can’t see or haven’t received or both .
Romans 8:24-25 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Biblically, from the standpoint of the object hoped for, hope is synonymous with salvation and its many blessings, past, present, and future, as promised in Scripture. This is true even with what we have already received as believers because these blessings come under the category of what we cannot see. We may see some of the results, but it still requires faith and hope. For example, we do not see the justifying work of God, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account, when we are saved, nor our co-union with Christ. We believe and know this to be a reality, but this is a matter of our hope. We believe in the testimony of God in the Word and hope for the results in our lives.
In summary, hope is the confident expectation, the sure certainty that what God has promised in the Word is true, has occurred, and or will in accordance with God’s sure Word.
R.C. Sproul – Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.