Biblical hope is not wishful thinking, like “hoping” that it doesn’t rain during a baseball game, nor is it the power of positive thought: “think good thoughts and good will come to you.” To say that Biblical hope is either of those things is to make it less than it is. Biblical hope is a confident and favorable expectation of a future reality.
That sounds like a solid definition, but how does that play our in our everyday lives? Glad you asked.
Hope is confident because it is rooted in the finished work of Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2). There is nothing we can do to add to the work of Christ, and there is nothing we can do to add to the hope found in him. We can trust Christ, no matter the circumstances, and in turn, display confident hope.
Hope is favorable because God always does what is right. The righteousness of God means he always exists in a state of holiness, but it also means that everything God ever has, or will, do is perfectly right as well. The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he (Deuteronomy 32:4). God is holiness itself. He will always do what is good, best and perfect, so hope is founded upon the goodness and perfection of God.
Hope is an expectation because we can trust what God says. We either trust what God says or not. If we choose to mistrust his Word, then we are living as though he is a liar. But we know that we can depend fully upon God making good on every one of his promises. In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (Titus 1:2).
As I write this, I’m praying for you…that God would give your hearts comfort and ground you in his hope so that you will be empowered to do and speak his will during this season. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
We exercise Biblical hope no matter how long we must wait for God to work out his perfect plan. – Lamentations 3:24-26 The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Our hope in Christ would fill us with joy and peace. – Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
We would practice rejoicing in hope, knowing that our joy is not based upon circumstances, but upon the completed work of Jesus. – Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.