Hope in the Bible has been best described as “a confident expectation of things to come.” We use the word hope generally in such ways as, “I hope the pandemic ends soon,” or “I hope the medical tests they did on me come out well,” or “I hope the Denver Broncos do well!” All of these describe situations that can go either way, sometimes it’s no more than a 50/50 possibility (although we do expect a better than 50 percent possibility that the Broncos will do well).
These two understandings of hope define the difference between the world at large’s use of the word and the biblical use of the word.
The loss of hope is something that we experience through media reports and perhaps the actions of those around us.
As the pandemic moves along there are those who believe it may not ever end and their motivation for living a fully engaged life has diminished somewhat. This loss of hope is not new to the world or even new to our timeframe. It has dogged man throughout our history and most likely will continue to do so into the future.
The good news is that God does not want us to live lives that have no hope. As expressed in the Bible and the book of John chapter 10 verse 10 the main reason that God came to earth in the form of man… Jesus, so that our lives would be more meaningful, purposeful, and overflowing with hope! Jesus said in this verse… “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
We have seen an uptick in people who have lost hope today. Just this morning I read in this paper about an individual who had just jumped from the Royal Gorge. It’s sad to consider that someone had reached that point in their life that hope obviously no longer existed.
I have always believed, and this belief has increased over the years, that everything is spiritual. At its core, every issue in our life is based on our relationship with God. Do we believe there is a God? If so, what is that relationship supposed to be like? As we go through this pandemic together we either begin to lose hope because we and those around us making decisions are only human and cannot see the future.
The other option is we increase our hope because we agree with the writer in the book of Romans, chapter 8 verse 31 when he said, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
Indeed, loss of hope seems to come when we take our eyes and dependence off of God and see only man-made solutions.
The same writer gives us the spiritual perspective again in the book of Romans chapter 5, verses two through five when he penned the following, “we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Emphasis mine)
Having hope in God will never disappoint.
John Myers is pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Salida.