Have you ever been in a situation where you felt hopeless? I have, but I have discovered since I am a child of God that when my feelings tell me that I am without hope, my emotions are lying to me.
When we draw near to God, we can have His Spirit of wisdom and His revelation so that we may know Him better. Paul prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17). Wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s point of view. Revelation is insight into the mysteries of God. As children of our Father, these are some of the blessings we receive in Christ. Another of these blessings is hope. Paul continues to pray that “the eyes of your hearts [be] enlightened, [so] that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you” (Eph. 1:18).
The biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1, 7). Hope is a fundamental component of the life of the righteous (Proverbs 23:18). Without hope, life loses its meaning (Lamentations 3:18; Job 7:6) and in death there is no hope (Isaiah 38:18; Job 17:15). The righteous who trust or put their hope in God will be helped (Psalm 28:7), and they will not be confounded, put to shame, or disappointed (Isaiah 49:23). The righteous, who have this trustful hope in God, have a general confidence in God’s protection and help (Jeremiah 29:11) and are free from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3).
The New Testament idea of hope is the recognition that in Christ is found the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (Matthew 12:21, 1 Peter 1:3). Christian hope is rooted in faith in the divine salvation in Christ (Galatians 5:5). Hope of Christians is brought into being through the presence of the promised Holy Spirit (Romans 8:24-25). It is the future hope of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6), the promises given to Israel (Acts 26:6-7), the redemption of the body and of the whole creation (Romans 8:23-25), eternal glory (Colossians 1:27), eternal life and the inheritance of the saints (Titus 3:5-7), the return of Christ (Titus 2:11-14), transformation into the likeness of Christ (1 John 3:2-3), the salvation of God (1 Timothy 4:10) or simply Christ Himself (1 Timothy 1:1).
The certainty of this blessed future is guaranteed through the indwelling of the Spirit (Romans 8:23-25), Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:26). Hope is produced by endurance through suffering (Romans 5:2-5) and is the inspiration behind endurance (1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:11). Those who hope in Christ will see Christ exalted in life and in death (Philippians 1:20). Trustworthy promises from God give us hope (Hebrews 6:18-19), and we may boast in this hope (Hebrews 3:6) and exhibit great boldness in our faith (2 Corinthians 3:12). By contrast, those who do not place their trust in God are said to be without hope (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Along with faith and love, hope is an enduring virtue of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13), and love springs from hope (Colossians 1:4-5). Hope produces joy and peace in believers through the power of the Spirit (Romans 12:12; 15:13). Paul attributes his apostolic calling to the hope of eternal glory (Titus 1:1-2). Hope in the return of Christ is the basis for believers to purify themselves in this life (Titus 2:11-14, 1 John 3:3).
Yesterday we talked about our need to draw near to God (Heb. 10:19-22). When we draw near to the Lord we are able to approach His throne of grace with confidence in order to find the help we need (Heb. 4:16); He rewards us for our faith in seeking Him (Heb. 11:6); and Jesus is able to save us completely and will intercede with the Father on our behalf (Heb. 7:25). The next verse says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23) To hold onto hope “unswervingly” means to be steadfast in our confidence, so we won’t lose hope–to have a confident expectation. Scripture teaches us that we can endure all things through Christ (Phil. 4:13), who alone gives us hope; He is our source of hope (Rom. 15:13).
Hope is powerful. Hope restores, renews, strengthens, and motivates us to face the future with certainty and strength in Christ. If we are to go through this life victoriously, we must hold onto our hope without hesitation–we must be steadfast in our hope. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Heb. 6:19a) If you feel yourself losing your grip on your hope, it’s time to draw near to God! “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)
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