True hope can only rest in God. This article gives an outline of biblical hope.

Source: APC News, 2002. 2 pages.

Hope

Here are Three Questions to Think Aboutβ€’πŸ”—

  • Are the great three virtues of faith, hope and love, temporary or eternal?
  • Are they provisions for our life given the current conditions of sin and the effects of the curse, or are they built into creation?
  • Could you imagine human existence (even pre-fall) without them?

These Virtues are Built into Creationβ†β€’πŸ”—

  • Humanity has been structured to live in the great triad of faith, hope and love from the very beginning.

The current conditions of the creation make these have a certain β€œshape”, but they belong to the nature of human beings. God is love, so we have been made to live in love, by faith and in hope.

Hope is Essentialβ†β€’πŸ”—

  • Hope is essential to human existence.
  • It may be either true or false, but all human beings must have hope of some sort.

Some examples of true and false hope:

  • Psalm 33:13-17 cf. vv. 18-22.
  • Psalm 62:5-11.
  • Isaiah 20:5-6.

Hope and Hopesβ†β€’πŸ”—

  • There is a difference between Hope and hopes.
  • But even hopes require faith and love, of a sort!
  • And what happens when they fail?

True Hopeβ†β€’πŸ”—

  • In the true and ultimate sense, there is Hope only in God. Eph. 2:12 cf. 1 Thess. 4:13. Ÿ God is the hope of his people (e.g. Jeer. 14:8; 17:13).

The hope of God's people is based on two things:

  • The declared nature of God (e.g. Exodus 33-34) and
  • The revealed actions of God in history (e.g. Psalm 105).

New Testament Passagesβ†β€’πŸ”—

Some important New Testament passages:

  • Romans 8:20-25.
  • 1 Peter 1:3 cf. 1:13; 1:21; 3:15.
  • Hebrews 6:13-20.

Hope lies in the declared character of God, revealed in his actions in Jesus Christ.

  • Hope, in the Biblical sense, is a β€œfixed certainty.”
  • The things for which we hope are many.
  • But ultimately we hope in and for God himself, who is our Shield and our Reward.

Hindrances to Hopeβ†β€’πŸ”—

Hindrances to hope may appear from time to time. E.g.

  • Failure to remember.
  • Fear of God in judgement (cf. 1 John 4:15ff).
  • Distraction with β€œhopes.”
  • Fellowships where there is little faith and love.
  • The biblical view of hope is a β€œnow” and β€œnot yet” picture. Hope in God will be contested in the present, but the hope of the future means that the present does not have the last say.

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