According to the dictionary, hope is the desire for something to happen. It can also be the desire with an expectation for something to happen. Biblical Hope is so much more. The Bible is filled with prophesies of things that will happen and promises of good things to come.
We hope for things in life, like food, a place to live and some happiness to go along with those essentials. We hope for a better life and parents hope their children grow up to be healthy and prosperous.
Hope is universal
It’s universal. People are people, no matter where they come from. But Biblical hope is entirely different.
For starters, we cannot prove that God exists. Those to believe in God and believe in the Bible do so out of faith and hope. There is, of course, fact to back that up, but since the beginning of recorded time, people look at the evidence and draw their own conclusions.
One man’s facts is the other man’s folly. That is a major sticking point for many people, because they want to see proof of God. Likewise, we cannot prove that there is no God. The Bible addresses that issue in Psalm 14:
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” Psalm 14:1
God wants man to come to Him, like children come to their parents. A child approaches mom and dad with trust and love. God wants us to approach Him with hope and faith.
We are all hard-wired to believe in God
The human condition is hard-wired for belief in God. That is, somewhere in all of us is the desire to know where we came from and why we are here. That desire gets confused at times.
We worship celebrities, like movie stars and athletes. Often we also worship money and power. We can follow God, or try to lead ourselves.
Were we some kind of cosmic accident, or was there “intelligent design,” by a creator? If there was a creator, why are we still asking these questions? Shouldn’t all of us have the same understanding of God or no God?
The need for hope is based on free will
Why don’t we all believe the same thing about God if He created us? The simple explanation of this is our free will. We all have our own opinions and we determine our own direction in life in so many instances. We cannot chose when we are born, where we are born, to whom we are born, or whether we are male or female. Nor can we chose the color of our eyes.
We may get cancer and die at an early age, or live to be over 100 years old. We can, however, make choices along the way, limited choices.
What we can imagine
Man can hope. We have the ability to think “outside the box” or imagine things that have not happened. Man is the only creature that knows he/she is going to die. We make plans.
Hope is that yearning for something more. For the wealthy, hope can be all about money and power. But the Biblical version of hope is the desire for God. Jesus said:
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to us as well.” (Matthew 7:33)
Man was created as an object of love. God said “Let us create man in our own image.”
The Apostle Paul understood hope
The Apostle Peter wrote:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15)
He was referring to the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is the anticipation, based on trust and faith. Throughout the Bible narrative, God makes promises and comes through on those promises.
God lays down a perfect track record, at all times and in all places. Abram left his home hoping that God would lead him to a better life.
Moses trusted God to deliver the Israelite from bondage in Egypt. While they wandered the desert, Moses had hope that God would lead them to a land of milk and honey.
David had hope that he would defeat Goliath, despite overwhelming odds that he would surely die in the fight.
Isaiah wrote of the coming of the Messiah, with hope that God would come through.
Jesus, the Messiah, offered His own life willingly, with hope that He would be raised on the third day.
The Apostles spread out to the entire known world to share the Gospel, with hope that God would honor their efforts and people would respond.
Our hope is in the truth of God in the Bible
Hope in the truth and promises of God in the Bible is a matter of faith, founded on fact. Other than the Apostle John, all of the Apostles of Christ were martyred. They all died with hope. Were they fools, or did they see something that gave them confidence and hope?
Biblical hope is founded on evidence, based on consistency and logic. The Bible issues challenges to seek the deeper things of God. We are encouraged to ask questions and seek the truth. Accepting the Bible is not blind faith, but a kind of hope that everything is going to be fine as long as that hope is in God.