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Christian Life

What Does the Bible Say About Hope?

What is hope? Often we think of hope as wishing–we hope parties and dances will be fun, we hope sick friends and relatives will get well, we might hope that the boy we like also likes us.

We use the word “hope” as often and freely as the word “love,” but having hope is not the same as wishing. Let’s look at some of the things the Bible says about “hope.”

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God (Psalm 42:11).

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth (Psalm 71:5).

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

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel. To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:3-5, 27).

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

In the Psalm verses, the Hebrew word translated as hope is “yachal.” In the New Testament verses, the Greek word translated as hope is “elpis” in every instance except Hebrews 11:1, where the Greek word is “elpizo.” These words have one thing in common: each of them means “confident expectation.”

These words don’t indicate wishful thinking. These words mean confidence and assurance. Biblical hope means that we expect things like glory and grace with confidence because the Lord has promised them to us. In Psalm 42 when it says “hope in God,” that means to have confidence in God. When Romans says to “abound in hope,” it means we should overflow with confidence in the promises of God.

I sometimes think the world has so overused the word “hope,” we’ve forgotten what it actually means. I pray each of you will now have a new understanding of the hope we have in the Lord.

PI girls, do you think the word “hope” gets overused?

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:11-12).

Image: Shutterstock


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  1. princepdoglover@yahoo.com

    Posted by princepdoglover@yahoo.com on January 26, 2013 at 21:08

    It is most definetly overused and I am one of them. I shouldn’t say hope so much.

  2. sisterwhocares

    Posted by sisterwhocares on November 21, 2012 at 20:10

    Fantastic article! The definition of hope reminds me of this one song by natalie grant; the lyrics go: Our hope endures, the worst of conditions/ It’s more than our optimism/ Let the earth quake, our hope is unchanged

  3. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on November 21, 2012 at 11:29

    This is a great article that better explains how to use the word “hope” properly! Thanks, Jenn!

  4. Dee

    Posted by Dee on November 20, 2012 at 15:47

    It’s kinda neat that you guys did an article on hope right now. I’m struggling with what seems a lot like depression, symptoms-wise, and have been for a while now. But this word just keeps finding me in the midst of this. I know it’s got to be God.
    I do think that this word is overused somewhat, but for Christians, hope is a daily reality. I think we forget what it is like to be without it.

  5. Chelsi

    Posted by Chelsi on November 20, 2012 at 15:40

    This is very useful Jenn.I do believe hope gets overused and it have showed me i should use hope in the right context next time.

  6. MeghanHug99

    Posted by MeghanHug99 on November 20, 2012 at 07:04

    This is a great article, Jenn! I do think it gets overused…some people don’t know what “hope: actually is. Our Pastor once had a message about hope and faith. Hope is a moving target….it is in the future. But faith should be used to pull that hope to the present! 🙂 God bless

  7. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on November 20, 2012 at 05:48

    i have some realy bad anxiety, like so bad i just want to run away. help?

  8. Paris

    Posted by Paris on November 20, 2012 at 03:18

    I do believe the word hope is overused and not used correctly in the right intances. I believe that “Hope” and “God” should be used in the same sentence,in a positive way,of course! 😀