By Grant Phillips
Biblical hope is not crossing your fingers and avoiding the sidewalk cracks.
You ask someone, “Are you saved?” They say, “I hope so.”
You ask, “Are you going to Heaven?” They reply, “I hope so.”
That may be the definition of hope in our modern terminology, but it absolutely doesn’t match up with the Biblical definition.
Hope in the Bible, whether from the Old or New Testament, refers to an absolute reference of surety. Most people today don’t like absolutes. Perhaps that why so many don’t like God’s Word. Consider only three examples from the Bible. (1) There is one God. (2) There is one way to God. (3) There is judgment after death. That’s pretty straight forward isn’t it?
God’s Word, the Bible, is also straight forward, absolute if I may, concerning hope.
In Strong’s concordance hope means:
– In expectation of evil, fear
– In expectation of good, hope
– Joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
– The author of hope, or he who is its foundation
– The thing hoped for
Out of many examples given in just the New Testament, let’s look at only seven.
TRUST IN GOD
“Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1:21)
God has proven that we can trust Him through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
Over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament were literally fulfilled by Jesus. That is impossible with anyone other than God.
Over 500 people saw Jesus in the flesh after being raised from the dead.
His disciples witnessed Him bodily leave this earth from the Mount of Olives and return to Heaven.
“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;…” (Romans 3:4)
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Romans 8:24)
We were given the confidence of eternal life when we were saved, and don’t need to look for something we already have.
Why do some doubt their salvation? Why do some think you can lose it? God has assured us that we don’t need to seek out something we already possess. Quit wasting time looking for what you already possess and share the “Good News” with others.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalms 16:9)
ENTERING THE VEIL
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” (Hebrews 6:19)
This hope is an anchor to our soul and has given us access to enter the Holy of Holies. In the Old Testament, under the Mosaic Law, only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies and that was just one time per year.
The veil that separates us from God’s presence has been removed by Jesus and now all who are His may come boldly to the throne of grace.
“And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” (Mark 15:38)
HOPE IN RESURRECTION
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Those who do not believe have no hope, but the opposite is true for those who have put their trust in Jesus.
This is one of several places that confirms our guarantee that Jesus will come back for His own and take His Church to be with Him prior to His judgment upon the earth. All who have died in Christ will return with Him to retrieve those who are still living. All will be changed instantly and given a heavenly body while being transported out of harm’s way.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
“Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:” (2 Corinthians 3:12)
We can be very bold for Christ because of the confidence awarded by the sure hope in Jesus Christ.
There is no way the Apostles would have permitted themselves to die such horrible deaths, not counting the suffering beforehand, if there were no assurance in everything Jesus said and did.
We don’t have to be cowards. Our hope in Him is so solid; we can be the bravest on the spiritual battlefield for our Lord. Instead of hiding out at the rear, we can fight to be at the front of the line. That is how true our hope really is.
“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:6)
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15)
Always be prepared to explain the assured hope that is within us. Since we have such a rock hard foundation of Truth, we should be prepared to share this real hope with others.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2)
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
HOPE IN LIFE
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
We are to be pitied more than anyone if our hope in Jesus is in this world alone. This is one of my favorite verses. This says it all.
If Jesus were just a good man with good teachings, we’re all in trouble. If He isn’t who He said, and proved Himself to be, we’re doomed.
However, that isn’t the case. He is God in the flesh. He has proven it over and over. He proves it every day of our lives. If we would just look around and open our eyes, we would see. If we would just listen, we would hear.
Our hope is not just for this life, but a glorious eternal life to come in Heaven with God. That is our steadfast hope.
I haven’t even cracked the surface of the legitimacy of our true hope. Do yourself a favor and read everything you can on hope in God’s Word, the Bible. You will be surprised, pleasantly surprised if you are His.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 6:11)