We have just begun the advent season and as always, we begin with hope. Hope is such a small word but carries a great weight of responsibility. Without hope, what is life? But just what is hope? And not just according to the dictionary, but also according to the bible. Do we fully understand what hope is and means for us every single day?
Hope is the desire for something good in the future. We often hope that things will go our way. Or we hope for good outcomes, positive experiences, and smooth sailing, right? And yet, the biblical definition of hope is not quite the same as the way we use the word Hope. Normally, when we express hope, we are expressing uncertainty. We’re not sure how things will work out, but we “hope” it will be in our favor.
But this does not convey the biblical meaning of the word hope. Biblical hope is not just a desire for something good in the future, but rather, biblical hope is a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future. In other words, when we place our hope in God, we not only desire that He do what we hope, but we have the expectation that God will make it happen. Biblical hope is the expectation that God will act. When scripture states, “Hope in God!” it does not mean, “Cross your fingers.” It means that we hope with the expectation that God will do great things.
So, to be clear, the secular idea of hope is taking chances, a gamble, a risk that may or may not pan out. But the biblical idea of hope is a confident expectation and desire for good in the future. And there is a certainty to it.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”