- Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English
HOPE, n. [L. cupio.]
A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.
- Holman Bible Dictionary
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.” Understood in this way, hope can denote either a baseless optimism or a vague yearning after an unattainable good. If hope is to be genuine hope, however, it must be founded on something (or someone) which affords reasonable grounds for confidence in its fulfillment. The Bible bases its hope in God and His saving acts.
John 14:1-3 (NASB)
1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Heavenly Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, we thank You for your love, mercy, and grace. Please block all attempts, by Satan, to distract us, as we learn about the difference of hope between the lost and the saved. Lead, guide, and direct us as we study your Word and please forgive us our sins, we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.
Why is Christians’ hope secure?
Christians’ hope is secure because…
1) If God can be trusted, Jesus can be trusted
John 14:1b-2a (NASB)
1 … believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; …
God’s character is unchanging and can be trusted.
James 1:17 (NASB)
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Numbers 23:19 (NASB)
19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Jesus and God are one.
John 10:30 (NASB)
30 “I and the Father are one.”
Consequently, Jesus’ character is unchanging and can be trusted.
Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
John 1:17 (NASB)
17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
2) Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us
John 14:2b (NASB)
2 … for I go to prepare a place for you.
Jesus makes intercession for us in the presence of God.
Hebrews 9:24-26 (NASB)
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
3) Jesus will return for us
John 14:3 (NASB)
3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Jesus is coming back and will take us with Him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (NASB)
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
John 17:24-26 (NASB)
24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Christians’ hope is secure because
- If God can be trusted, Jesus can be trusted
- Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us
- Jesus will return for us
Hebrews 6:10-20a (NASB)
10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever…
The security of this hope is what encourages and motivates Christians to press forward regardless of current circumstances.
Philippians 4:4-8 (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
John 14:27-29 (NASB)
27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.
This hope is foreign to the lost because they are unable to claim its benefits and promises without having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Heavenly Father, Almighty God, hear our prayer. You are everlasting through everlasting, unchanging in your ways. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. As such, we can place our hope and trust in You and not be disappointed. You tell us that You have prepared a place for us and that You will come to take us so that wherever You are there we will be also. Because of this we have a hope that is steadfast and sure. Unlike the world’s hope, which is based on the perishable, our hope is based on the imperishable. Lord, use us to display our hope to a lost and dying world, such that they would see the difference and desire to have our hope over theirs. Help us to bring honor and glory to your name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:
James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.
John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
- To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
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1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19 "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
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Praise the Lord.
- In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:
Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
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James 5:16 (NASB)
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
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