A recent USA Today column read “Obama’s challenge is to lose the hope, get real.” In it, Cal Thomas, a conservative columnist, and Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic strategist, exchange thoughts on President Obama’s “hopes” of reelection. Now, I am not a real political man, but I do strive to be a real biblical man and this article really got me thinking about my hope versus “getting real” in my own life and walk with God.
Too often we think of hope as a wish; one that we want to come true but know it might not. I hope WVU can win the rest of their season’s games. However, I am not sure that will happen; I just really want it to happen. But in reality hope is not that at all. Hope is defined as “to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. To look forward to with confidence and expectation. To expect and desire” (The American Heritage Dictionary). Therefore, to hope is to have a desire and be confident that it will happen!
In the Bible, hope is almost always linked to faith and is a part of the great triad of Christian virtues, along with faith and love. It implies expectation, trust and patient waiting. The Greek word most often translated “hope” is “Elpis” and it appears 54 times in the New Testament. Strong’s defines it as an “expectation of what is sure.” It is anticipation, usually with pleasure and confidence. It appears over 30 times in the form “Elpizo” – “To expect, hope or trust.” So, true hope, Biblical hope is a confident trust in God, even when waiting must be endured.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
“For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is not hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24&25
“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because god has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:2-5
The good news is that as Christians, our hope is not based on our circumstances, it is not found in political promises and it is not obtained through our own efforts. Our hope, our faith and our love is found in Christ alone. Our Hope in Christ is as real as it gets! As the old hymn so powerfully proclaims, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”