The God of Hope

Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Hope is a word that we use often, but do we really consider it’s true meaning and how it is used in scripture? The Bible does not teach that hope is just a mere wish. The Bible defines hope as an earnest expectation. Philippians 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” The word “and” in this verse in can be interpreted as “even”.

The Greek word “kai” (Strongs 2532) is used in this manner throughout scripture. An example of this is found in Titus. Titus 1:3, “God our Saviour;…”; Titus 2:10, “God our Saviour…”; Titus 2:13, “God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” The word “and” in Titus 2:13 is not saying we have a God with a Saviour who is not God, but is saying God is our Saviour.

When Paul writes “my hope and earnest expectation”, he is saying my hope is my earnest expectation. An earnest expectation is far beyond a wish. An earnest expectation is something built on a foundation. Example: I could wish that I had a million dollars in the bank. But is my wish based on any facts or knowledge? No, but if I had labored for many years to build a bank account and saved my money (knowing how much that should be in the account, when I looked on line at the bank website) I would fully expect the amount to be there. Notice the difference?

When we consider the subject of hope, the understanding of more than one context of hope is imperative. The Bible teaches us about the hope of eternal life we have in Jesus Christ (Titus 1:2), but it also teaches us of the hope we have in God for His help and guidance while we live in this world. A quick look at Psalm 130 will teach us that David had a hope in the Lord for the forgiveness of sins (130:3-4); a hope in the Lord for help, guidance and strength for the problems and issues of life (130:5); and a hope in the Lord for the morning to come when all darkness will be behind him (130:6; when the Lord returns to take us home to glory, the darkness of this world will end and we will experience an eternal day with Him). In each of the three contexts, the Lord is the source and the object of David’s hope. Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

My current hope is that we have now established the Biblical definition of the word “hope” and have set forth the Bible fact that there is at least three contexts of hope for the child of grace. So now let us concentrate on the blessings of the subject. We rest in the hope of eternal life. We exhort and instruct children of God to rest in that hope. Why? We believe God. We rest in the knowledge of the return of Jesus. When I’m asked to preach a funeral of a precious brother and sister who has passed from this life to glory, I labor to increase that hope so the family and friends attending may be comforted and rest in hope. If we can rest in hope of eternal life; if we can rest in our hope of heaven; it makes sense to me that we should be able to rest and be at peace trusting in the Lord for His help in our daily lives. Jeremiah 17:7-8, Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots but the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the subject of our hope in the Lord for His daily help in our lives doesn’t mean that we should not use the brain that we have to make decisions. We should never live life without considering the dangers around us. But our hope should help us by giving us more peace in our efforts to serve God in a life of obedience. When we get behind the steering wheel of our vehicles, we never purposely drive recklessly not looking for traffic before pulling out in the road, but we use our eyes and knowledge which we have learned. Yet, we know the dangers on the highway are real. Life is similar. There are many dangers in this world. The recent events have convinced us all of this fact. While living in this world, let us use our brains; listen to good counsel concerning the dangers; but never forget to trust and hope in God for His help everyday. Amen!

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