What is “hope,” and why is it so critical?

What is “hope,” and why is it so critical?      introduction

Hope is as important to us as the air we breathe or the water we drink. It’s what helps us persevere through our tribulations, and what enables us “to endure as seeing Him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27.

Hope is the fuel of our soul. If we have hope, we can withstand anything! If we lose our hope, we’ll often lose our faith. The word “hope” is a noun, not a verb. It’s not only something we can possess, it’s also something we can lose. Jeremiah 2:11-13.

The word “hope” is the Greek word elpis (Strong’s # 1680) which means “To anticipate , usually with pleasure; to expect; to trust and to have confidence.”  Romans 8:24-25 describes hope this way: “for we were saved in this hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

So, “hope” means confidently stepping out on God’s promises and being assured of His trustworthiness, even though we can’t see how His promises will be fulfilled or when they will be answered. Hope is knowing that God will be faithful to keep His Word, no matter what we see or what we feel.

Two types of Hope in the Lord. What makes this subject of hope rather difficult as well as confusing is that there are two types of hope in the Lord.

1.“Eternal” hope speaks of His phenomenal promises for the future. We are confident that Jesus will soon return bringing with Him His kingdom and fulfilling all His glorious promises.

Scriptures on Hope.

  1. Lamentations 3:24
  2. Colossians 1:27
  3. Hebrews 11:1; 6:18-19
  4. 1 Peter 3:15
  5. Romans 15:13
  6. Psalm 31:24; 42:5 ; 71:14
  7. 1 Peter 1:13
  8. “Temporal” Hope is earth bound. Temporal hope may or may not be fulfilled in the way we think they should be or in the way we interpret them. In difficult situations, we grasp a hold of God’s promises and translate them the way we understand them. But when those promises don’t come to pass in the way we thought they would, we lose hope and thus end up confused and disheartened, and, of course, the enemy rejoices.

Proverbs 13:12 tells us that “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Hope is exactly that. When we embrace it by faith, it’s a tree of life or cause of happiness.

Isaiah understood that hope renews and energizes us. ”Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isa.40:31).

Hope is the “Anchor of the Soul.”  Listen to what Hebrews 6:18-19 has to say about hope: “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation (comfort), who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil…”

What is the second part of the two immutable things: Let’s step back to a very intimate scene preserved for us in the Bible found in Genesis 15. Verse one states that Abram had returned from a battle with Kings, Abram became troubled and fearful. So, God reassured him in a vision that He (God) was Abram’s shield and reward.

Vs.9 “And He said unto him, take me a heifer of three years old, and she goat of three years old, a ram of three years old, and turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds he divided not.” Jump to verse 12: “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him.”

Jump to verse 17. “And it came to pass, that when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord, made a covenant with Abram, saying , unto thy seed have I given this land, from the of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates….”

God underscores “The unchanging (and irrevocable ) nature of His purpose” 6:17. By giving “two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie (6:18) —namely, the promise to Abram and the oath that accompanied it.

This God did in order to provide the greatest possible incentive for His people to believe and trust Him. “We who have fled”(6:18c) refers specifically to new covenant believers who have fled the unbelief of the world with its hostility to God, in order “to take hold of the Hope offered to us” (6:18c) in Christ.

Going on let’s place an emphasis on the fact that the believer’s hope resides not in wishful thinking but in God’s unchanging purpose and trustworthy promise supported by his oath, our author goes on to state that “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul” (6:19).

“Hope,” like a ship’s anchor, counteracts the tendency to “drift away” (2:1) by stabilizing  “the soul” in every circumstance, “Firm” means that Christ-centered hope “is undisturbed by outward influences,” and “secure” means that “it is firm in its inherent character.’

Furthermore, by our hope “we are moored to an immovable object… that is the throne of God Himself” in “the inner sanctuary Behind the curtain.”

Conclusion: Hope is the motivation for faithfulness and love in all circumstance’s.  The basis for our hope is the promise of God, confirmed with an oath.

 

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