We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.
To me, hope is a beautiful word…and a costly one. It’s beautiful because Spirit-given hope strengthened me through a long season of illness and pain until I reached the place of healing and restoration. It’s beautiful because Jesus revealed Himself to me as the God of hope, and everything about His nature and character is beautiful. But it’s also costly, because sometimes the choice to hope brings its own sort of pain. It requires more than natural strength—it necessitates bringing emotions into alignment with truth and choosing to agree with the Father despite every circumstance to the contrary.
But it’s a choice that empowers us in our daily lives, and Scripture is filled with countless stories of individuals living in hope, persevering for many years in anticipation of God unfolding His plan in their lives.
On my own journey of walking in hope, I’ve found immense encouragement in these tales—in the story of Hannah, yearning for her children and finding hope in her darkest hour through God’s promise to her, and then experiencing longing fulfilled many times over. Or the account of Abraham, who hoped against hope regarding the promises of God for his future and for the nation that would spring forth from a barren marriage and an ancient womb. Or the record of Simeon and Anna, who served faithfully in the temple, waiting and anticipating the promised redemption—the coming of Christ—and the privilege they received of witnessing God-in-the-flesh with their own eyes.
But the tales go beyond those contained in Scripture. From ancient history to modern day, there are accounts of heroes, those sung and unsung, who faced dark, painful circumstances, and yet found strength to press on through their hope in Christ.
So what is hope, that it empowers this way?
Biblical hope—true hope—is the joyful, confident expectation of future good which keeps us in agreement with the perspective of heaven. Further, this expectation remains strong regardless of the situations we face. Hope looks beyond circumstance to the ultimate truth that God reveals. It rests on the knowledge of God—His character, His nature, and the provision He has made for our redemption. At its core, hope is confidence in God. It’s the choice to agree with what He says regarding Himself, the world we live in, and our own futures.
Scripture reveals that hope is sure, because ultimately Jesus—the one who is Faithful and True—is our hope. We can be certain that our hope in Him will never disappoint (Isaiah 49:23), and our confidence in Him will be richly rewarded (Hebrews 10:35). As Luke says: “Blessed [happy] is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Far from a passive wishfulness, true hope spurs us to action. Anchored in an understanding of the nature and character of God, hope fuels a response to His Word and gives birth to vibrant faith. Strongs Concordance defines the Greek word elpis, which we translate as hope, as “to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence:—faith, hope.” And so we see that our journey of faith twines intimately together with hope. They are two sides of the same coin. Our steadfast hope in the gospel fuels our faith (Colossians 1), and it’s part of what we are called to as believers (Ephesians 1). It brings our minds and emotions into agreement with truth and enables us to persevere. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, and a sign of His work in our lives.
In short, hope transforms the way we live our lives. It causes us to live from the perspective of heaven.
Hope in Our Lives
Over the next few weeks, I plan to explore the fundamentals of living in hope—how and why hope transforms, how to choose hope, and how to grow in hope even in challenging seasons. And I pray that as you read, you find encouragement and the renewed ability to hope in your own life.
What questions do you have about growing in hope? Are you on a hope journey in your own life? I’d love to dialogue.