What Is Hope?
There is a distinct difference between the definition of hope used from an ordinary human standpoint, and the definition of hope we find in the pages of Scripture. It is pretty common to hope, right? We hope we get a job. We hopeour kids are well behaved. We hope we make enough money to pay our bills. But our human hope implies a degree of uncertainty, things are not sure, they are possibilities but not certainties. In Scripture, however, hope is void of uncertainty. In fact, certainty is at its core, because it rests in the stability of God, His character and His will, which are unwavering. Biblical hope, then, can be defined as, “the confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.”
We also see in Scripture the close connection between hope and faith. In Hebrews 6:11-12, the writer of Hebrews uses the term, “full assurance of hope”. This phrase is also used in Hebrews 10:22 and translated, “full assurance of faith”. Faith defined for us in Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is both the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. So hope is an element of faith looking specifically toward the future, while faith encompasses a belief and trust in God for our past, our present, and our future. This distinction is critical to understanding the confidence that lies in a biblically defined hope. Hope is essential to our faith.
Families With Young Children
KIDS, What are some things you hope for? Maybe you are hoping that Christmas will get here fast? Maybe you hope that you will get that one gift you really want? Are you hoping it will snow? We often hope for things but we are unsure if they will happen or not. Scripture tells us that we can be sure of our hope in Christ and we do not have to be uncertain!
Read Hebrews 6:11-12 and Hebrews 11:1. KIDS, What is hope similar to? (faith) Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, so we can have complete trust in God’s promises. So is there a difference in our hope for the things of this world and the hope we have in Christ?
Read Luke 1:5-17. KIDS, Do you think Elizabeth was hoping for a child? Who do these verses say was coming? (John the Baptist) What was John the Baptist’s purpose? (to prepare the way for Christ and to ready the people for His coming) What are some things you learn about who John was going to be according to these verses? (he will be righteous and great in the sight of the Lord, he will help turn God’s people back to Him, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit)