We all need hope. Hope is powerful! Without hope, our heart becomes sick (Proverbs 13:12). When we go through turmoil and challenges in life, we all are looking for something to grasp onto, and that is hope. We hope that things will get better, hope for the future to be better, and hope that God is with us during life’s challenges. How do you react when challenged in life? Where do you run for comfort, relief, or escape? What do you do when you are in hard circumstances? Today we’re going to look at what the Bible says about hope, hope in God and His Word.
God isn’t afraid to answer the hard questions we have for Him during times of turmoil. We, as believers in Christ, of all of the people, should have hope because Christ is in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Without Christ, there is no real hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12). It is because of Christ’s finished work on the cross and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us that we have hope. Our hope comes from God’s grace through Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
Our hope is both for present things as well as for the eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). We find hope in His promises, of the resurrection from the dead, of His return and eternal life (1 John 5:13-14; 1 Peter 1:3-6; John 11:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Titus 2:13). Whatever we go through in this life, we have the hope that God will see us through based on His Word (Hebrews 13:5). Keep your hope in the present rather than in the past or future, so you won’t miss what God is presently doing in your life! We are to rejoice in hope (Romans 12:12).
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1 – 5 (NKJV)
Bible hope isn’t an escape or wishful or just positive thinking. Nor is it a denial of reality. It is a positive expectation that something good is going to happen to you because God is good. Hope stabilizes our thoughts and emotions and helps us to endure while waiting for God to move in our circumstances (Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 40:31). Hope energizes and motivates us to take action, which is faith. God wants us to run to Him, so He can give us hope so that our faith can stand. Hope and faith go hand in hand. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith believes and declares what God has done and is doing for us. It is not based on the physical evidence of feeling, seeing, hearing, or experience (2 Corinthians 5:7).
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV)
Faith is taking hold of the things we hope for that are in line with His will, which is His Word, while keeping our eyes on Jesus as we wait for it to come to pass. Jesus is the anchor for our hope (Hebrews 6:19-20). Hope believes with confident expectation for something good while trusting that God will keep His promise. You must have hope before faith, but it doesn’t take the place of it. Here is an example of hope and faith in action!
(As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed-God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised, He was also able to perform. And therefore, “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:17 – 22 (NKJV)
The key to your heart is hope. Hope lifts your perspective. Bible hope compels you to act, and that is faith. The battle to steal your faith begins by the enemy trying to get your hope. Faith, hope, and love work together (1 Corinthians 13:13) and are just what you need for whatever you are facing today. Because you have God, you have everything you need to be victorious!
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25 (NKJV)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV)
Natural hope or wishing and mental assent (just knowing or believing) are false substitutes for faith. Mental assent says that you believe that the Word of God is true, but you do not act upon it. Hope doesn’t work in connection to prayer when it just wishes something will happen or hope it to be correct, but you don’t expect it (i.e., I hope I’m healed; I hope things get better).
Faith begins where the will of God is known. Faith is built and grows out of the Word of God and through the Word of God (Romans 10:17; Luke 17:5-6; Matthew 13:31-32). You don’t have to strive to get faith because it comes as you hear, study, and meditate upon God’s Word. God and His Word are one (John 1:1). God backs up every promise He makes (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Therefore, do not cast away your confidence which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. Hebrews 10:35-36 (NKJV)
Now, this is the confidence that we have in Him that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)
Bible faith acts on the Word of God, contrary to the evidence in the natural. Believing by faith is acting on the Word of God. There is no faith without action. (See James 2:14-26). Faith is thanking God in advance before you see it come to pass!
So, what do we do when we find ourselves in a hopeless situation, or we have discouragement in our hearts?
We are to put our hope and faith in God. Our hope needs to be in God with whom we have a relationship and whose character and nature we know (i.e., good, loving, merciful, gracious, faithful, etc.). Our trials can develop our character (Romans 5:3 – 5), as well as lead to intimacy with Him through worship, prayer, and reading His word. Our faith grows when we trust Him and keep believing in His love and goodness, which keeps our hope alive.
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
We encourage ourselves in the Lord, as King David did (1 Samuel 30:6). When we have hope, we can move forward!
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11 (NKJV)
We study and meditate on His Word and declare it over our lives (Romans 15:4). Get your eyes off of your circumstances and focus on what Jesus has already done and provided for you. Don’t allow your mind to get in the way, but keep on believing what God says about you and your situation. Some people may say “don’t get your hopes up” because they are afraid of being disappointed. But when the Lord is in your life, you have reason to be hopeful. So dare to be hopeful and get your hopes up! Nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26). Hope releases joy (Romans 12:12), and the joy of the LORD is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
We should be ready to share with others the hope that we have in Christ so that they may come to know Him, too.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)
When we are in the middle of a mess, it is hard to reconcile the hope-filled message of the Christian faith with what we are seeing around us. But, we don’t have to live in the darkness of the times around us because we are part of God’s kingdom. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13). Christ redeemed us, and He is our life. Our lives can be changed because He lives in us and is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1)! We may struggle with our doubts, but our faith can grow. We can trust that God is our God and find strength and hope in Him. We thank and praise Him as we remember what He has done, accept what He is doing, and trust Him in what He is going to do; that He is in control.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out it’s roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)
Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today, I declare that I will restore double to you. Zechariah 9:12 (NKJV)
In this verse, the Lord is our stronghold, a place of refuge, and He is telling us to come to Him and be held by hope. Jesus is our hope. If we do that, He declares that He will restore double to us! Wow. That is quite a promise. Let’s do what He says and announce the restoration of double over our lives!
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NKJV)