Here’s Something to Think About -- What Is Hope?
Hope is a word that is used so frequently and casually these days that it has lost much of the meaning ascribed to it in the scriptures. We may hear someone say, “I hope I win the lottery.” Or, “I hope it doesn’t rain and spoil our cookout” or “I hope we get some rain to end this drought.” This use of the word hope is nothing more than an expressed desire or wishful thinking without any real basis for an expectation of fulfillment.
However, where the word hope is used in scripture it implies both confidence and a basis for expectation of fulfillment. For example: Matthew 12:21 “And in His name shall the Gentiles hope (have confidence).” Act 27:20 “And when neither sun nor stars shone upon us for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope (expectation) that we should be saved was now taken away.” In Hebrews 10:23 we see the basis for a confident expectation is found in a person, namely God. “…let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for He is faithful that promised…” And what God has promised is an eternal life, beyond the grave, for those that place their faith and confidence in His Son, Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Sadly, there are multitudes today living in complete rejection of God’s Word. However, there are others who like what the Bible says about an eternal life in Heaven but aren’t ready to commit to the only faith that can save them. Many of these latter ones embrace a “hope so salvation,” wishing that their good deeds will earn them a place in Heaven. Unfortunately, their “hope” is baseless. As John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So, which category of spiritual hope do you embrace? If your hope is one of genuine faith and confidence in Jesus Christ, here is God’s Word to you – “… sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you.” (1Peter 3:15)