What produces biblical hope? Here is the Apostle Paul's answer in Colossians 1:5 -"hope stored up for you in heaven and which you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come unto you."
Hope is awakened or stirred up by the gospel. That is the good news! The gospel speaks hope to our failures and disappointments - to our weaknesses and emptiness. When nothing else can give us hope - the gospel will!
This verse is telling us that there is a HOPE you and I have IN HEAVEN. And, guess what? We have ACCESS to that HOPE NOW! How? Because HOPE is not a when or a where - HOPE is a WHO! Psalm 71:5 says: “For You are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth.”
Paul tells us, in 1 Timothy 1, that Jesus is our HOPE!
HOPE - at the NEXT LEVEL - will not waiver because BIBLICAL HOPE is anchored in the person of Jesus Christ and the faithfulness of GOD! A hope that can waiver is not biblical hope – it is really more like wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is riddled with doubt and unbelief.
Remember this difference: When we engage in wishful thinking we believe that somehow if I just yearn for something long enough I can make it happen. And, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we realize that underneath all that wishful thinking is anxiety - the worry that it may not come to pass. But when our HOPE is anchored in the faithfulness of God Romans 15:13 tells us we have peace while believing.
It’s a knowing in your “knower” – this will come to pass.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
Look at that ending statement again:
“…by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”
How does the Holy Spirit help us abound in hope? To understand this, we need to understand: what is the main function of the Holy Spirit? It is to reveal Christ! Jesus Christ is our HOPE!
To abound in hope means to never be discouraged. It means to hope “against all hope” (Romans 4:18).
In other words, it is to hope even when every human motive or reason for hope has failed. That is how Abraham hoped. He believed God when everything in the natural said it was impossible.
But what is most important to remember here is that he was holding on to a promise God had clearly spoken to him. He wasn’t hoping for his dream – he was hoping for God’s Dream!
That Church…is taking your HOPE to the Next Level!
It’s when you have your HOPE anchored in HIM and HIM ALONE. That is when you will not be shaken in your believing because you know like you know - no matter what - GOD IS IN CONTROL!
Biblical Hope is the confident expectation that God will fulfill the promises He has made to those who trust Him. Psalm 119:114 says, “You are my refuge and my shield; I have my hope in your word.”
To hope in God’s Word is to HOPE in God Himself. He is our HOPE!
You may be wondering: "What is the difference between faith and hope?" They seem so similar. Faith and hope are different yet related. Faith is a complete trust or confidence in something. Faith involves having a knowledgeable agreement to a set of facts and to trust in those facts. For example, we say we have faith in Jesus Christ - in His life, death and resurrection. Biblically speaking, to say we have faith in Jesus Christ is to completely trust Jesus for our eternal salvation. Biblical hope is built on this faith.
Everything you HOPE for – is only possible because you have deep rooted faith in what Christ has done for you. When you have true biblical HOPE, you have in your heart a deep conviction for what God has revealed to you, and it begins with a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Here’s the truth: When your HOPE is not anchored in HIM – your HOPE is NOT ANCHORED! Why is it so important to have our HOPE anchored in CHRIST? When HOPE is anchored in CHRIST it is never disappointed. It is a confident expectation that stems from faith in Him that what God has promised He will do.
Hope is a peaceful assurance that something that hasn’t happened yet will indeed happen.
Look at Romans 8:24: “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” Hope must involve something that is as yet unseen.
Titus 2:13 tells us Jesus’ return is our “blessed hope” - we can’t see Him yet, but we know He’s coming! HOPE is expectation is what is not yet seen. It’s a knowing in our knower this will come to pass.
Jesus said He is coming again in John 14:3. By faith, we trust in Jesus’ words, and that leads to hope that we will one day be with Him forever. Jesus was resurrected from the dead, “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). That is the basis for our faith.
Then we have Jesus’ promise: “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). That is the basis of our hope.
Faith is grounded in the reality of the past. Hope is looking to the reality of the future. Without faith, there is no hope, and without hope there is no true faith.
Remember, biblical hope grounded in faith in God’s Promises will never disappoint.
But what do you do when HOPE is delayed? Or, when what we have asked for doesn’t come to pass? Be sure to check back next week for more on this study.