The Source of Hope

shining_hope

God is the author of our hope, the foundation of our hope, the builder of our hope and the finisher of our hope. It has long been said that there are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them. This is true because God is the source of our hope.

A Biblical hope is not some sort of far-fetched thing that we would really like to happen. They way I’ve usually defined a Biblical hope is that is a well grounded, well founded, assurance that God will do what He has said He will do. While I still believe this is basically accurate, my studies have also convinced it isn’t quite sufficient. Here is a great definition of Biblical hope from a Bible dictionary I have.

Trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. This contrasts to the world’s definition of hope as “a feeling that what is wanted will happen.”[1] While a Biblical hope is a well grounded, well founded assurance that God will do what He has said He would do. It also carries with it the idea of expectation. When we are hoping in God, we are expecting Him to do something.

It just almost sounds presumptuous to say that we are expecting God to do something doesn’t it? However, it’s not if our expectation is coming from the right place. If we are expecting God to do something simply because we want Him to do these things, well good luck with that and let me know how that works for you. On the other hand, if we are expecting Him to do something because it is consistent with His character or because He has promised to do it, then we can legitimately expect God to act.

You see, when we are hoping in God to do something, we are not just wishing for God to act. Instead, we are being confident in who God is and what He has said He would do. When we are confident in God’s character, we are accepting that He is who Scripture says He is and that He can and will do what Scripture says that He can and will do.

Ultimately, our hope in God must start with confidence in His character. If I don’t believe that He is who he says He is or that He can and will do what He says He can/will do, then I have no reason to expect anything from Him. On the other hand, if I am confident that God is who Scripture says He is and that He can/will do what He says He can and will do, then I will have great expectation for Him to act in accordance to His character and in fulfillment to His Word.

The natural result of trusting God’s character is to trust His promises. If God is who Scripture says He is and if God can and will do what Scripture says He can and will do, then I can trust everything He says and I will act accordingly. Everything about a Biblical hope rises and falls on who God is and what He has said. It is critically important that we understand this.

The reason it’s so important for us to understand that God is the source of our hope, is that there are results of this.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

The God of hope can fill us with joy and peace as we believe. The joy and peace of the Christian life flow out of our hope in God. When we believe who God is and what He has said, then we CAN have joy and peace regardless of the circumstances of our lives. I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about joy and peace. All I’m going to say is that where there is a lack of joy and a lack of peace, there is also a lack of hope. A lack of hope flows from a lack of faith in who God is and what He has said. Faith feeds hope.

For further study read Romans 4:17-21. How did Abraham’s faith feed his hope? How can you follow Abraham’s example of letting your faith in God feed your hope in God?


[1] Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England, ed., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), s.v. “,” WORDsearch CROSS e-book.

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