When we think about faithfulness, several areas might come to mind. We talk often of being faithful in our marriages, faithful to parent our children well, faithful in our work. As a wife, mother, home maker, and home educator, there are many areas for me to consider daily.
Lately, I have been thinking about the faithfulness of HOPE. What do I mean by that?
It might help to look at the worlds idea of “hope” - it might go like this...”I hope it doesn’t rain today.” “I hope I get that job.” I hope, I hope, I hope. “The standard dictionary definition, and one that is generally accepted by most of the world is “to FEEL that something desired MAY happen:” The words “feel” and “may” are two very indefinite and vague words, but such a definition of “HOPE” exemplifies the thinking of most people.” (Source here.)
The Bible’s definition of HOPE is very different though. Let’s look at a few Old Testament verses to begin with.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” (Ps. 42:5)
“Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in You.” (Ps. 33:22)
Hope in these verses is the Hebrew word “yachal” which means “Trust”.
“And now, O LORD, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Ps. 39:7) The hebrew word for hope in this verse is slightly different - “Towcheleth” meaning “expectation”.
These are just a few of the verses is the Old Testament that give the picture of HOPE as complete reliance upon the trustworthiness of our God.
The greek word for hope in the New testament is “elpis”; “to expect or anticipate with pleasure” - it is an absolute or a guarantee without any doubt.
As seen in Romans 5:2 “Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Hope of Heaven and the glory of God - not a may be, but a guarantee!
“waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ...” Titus 2:13 This is “without a doubt!”
In looking at these verses (and knowing that there are MANY more), I might put the Biblical idea of HOPE like this “Hope is a trusting expectation in Who the LORD is and what He promises within the Truth of Scriptures and the life of Jesus Christ. Every hope that I have in Him can be expected and anticipated with pleasure and without doubt."
We might still ask though "Is hope REAL?" Or is it just a wishy, washy may be? I think that we must remind ourselves that hope “is the confident expectation, the sure certainty that what God has promised in the Word is true, has occurred, and or will in accordance with God’s sure Word.” (From Bible.org) Hope IS NOT a passive wishing.
we are being unfaithful to the Biblical idea of hope.
The Bible warns us about a false and very dangerous hope; Psalm 33:17 says “The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.” We must be careful that we do not put our hope in anything except the LORD. This is an easier trap than you might think. Do we find ourselves “hoping” that people will do, act, perform the way we want them to?” Do we hope our children will turn out a certain way? Do we hope that our problems will be fixed the way we want? There are many times that we might be tempted to hope in a “false war horse”.
Biblical Hope isn’t an escape from reality or problems as some might think. And the blessing of our Biblical hope is peace, joy (Rm 15:13), protection (Ps. 33:18), strength, courage and boldness (Ps 31:24), endurance, comfort and confidence (I Thess. 4:13), and confidence in ministry (I Timothy 4:10). (Some notes from Bible.org)
The Faithfulness Of Hope - I pray that we would each consider how we are living our lives today and embrace God’s idea of Hope. It really is a truth that will never let us down. Let’s reject the mansy, pansy idea of hope that will always disappoint us. And repent for the times that we used hope as a cover up for selfish “Gee, I “hope” I get what I want.”
Hoping in the LORD will turn our eyes and our hearts where they should be - HIM.