One of the defining features of the meaning of hope in the Bible is the unwavering confidence in God’s faithfulness and His ultimate plan for humanity. It recognizes that even in the midst of trials, suffering, and despair, there is a steadfast belief that God is in control and working all things for the good of those who love Him.
“Hope” is commonly used to mean a wish; its strength is the strength of the person’s desire. But in the Bible, hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in His faithfulness.
God has given us the gift of hope. It is as certain and foundational as the fact that he gave us life. Hope believes that even death cannot hold us from God’s great eternal plan, and it calls us through everything the world might hand us to dash our hopes.
But biblical hope is not able to be dashed. It holds tight to the deliverer, who delights in the hope we have.
The Meaning Of Hope In The Bible
Hope is a central theme in the Bible, and it is defined as a confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in His faithfulness. Biblical hope is firmly associated with God’s promises that those who hope and are patient to wait for him will not be disappointed and will receive grace. In Scripture, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word “hope” and according to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation.
What is hope? In today’s culture, the word hope is often used to represent wishful thinking. But the Old Testament verb translated hope is qawa while the noun from the same root is tiqwa. Both mean “to trust and wait expectantly.”
7 Stories of Hope in the Bible
Here are seven stories of hope in the Bible:
- Noah’s Ark: Noah was instructed by God to build an ark to save his family and two of every kind of animal from the flood. Noah obeyed God’s command and built the ark, and God saved him and his family from the flood.
- Joseph’s Dreams: Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, but he never lost hope in God. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and became the second-most powerful man in Egypt, saving his family from famine.
- Moses and the Red Sea: Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but they were trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. Moses trusted in God, and He parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to cross safely.
- David and Goliath: David was a young shepherd boy who defeated Goliath, a giant Philistine warrior, with just a sling and a stone. David trusted in God’s strength to defeat Goliath.
- Daniel in the Lion’s Den: Daniel was thrown into a den of lions for refusing to worship King Darius. Daniel trusted in God’s protection, and He saved him from the lions.
- The Birth of Jesus: The birth of Jesus brought hope to the world. Jesus came to save us from our sins and give us eternal life .
- The Resurrection of Jesus: The resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate story of hope. Jesus conquered death and gave us new life.
Importance of Hope In The Bible
Hope builds anticipation. A Naval officer, my husband served in multiple deployments and training exercises. Whether he was gone for three months or more than a year, I always anticipated his return and carefully checked the days off the calendar.
Romans 8:24-25 says we look can look forward to our salvation in the same way. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Hope produces fruit. While writing to the believers in Rome, Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace” (Romans 15:13 NIV). Did you notice that God also gives us an abundance of other gifts? These include joy, peace, and the other fruits of the Spirit which you can read more about
Hope fills our hearts with praise. The promise of salvation is reason to celebrate as the writer of Psalm 71:14 proclaims, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more” (Psalm 71:14 NIV).
Hope builds character and teaches us the disciplines of faith. Several years ago, anxiety and depression ruled the day. My husband was boots-on-the-ground halfway around the world while my teenagers engaged in full-on rebellion.
Jesus was my only hope, and my faith grew stronger during that painful season. I learned to “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV).
Why Does Hope Play Such a Huge Role in the Lives of Christians?
Hope encourages Christians to change their perspective. Someone who believes this world is as good as it gets will live differently from the person who believes he or she has a forever-future full of abundance and joy. Hope has a way of getting us through whatever we are facing.
Christians can live peering through the lens of eternity-future. Instead of seeking after fame, wealth, sexual fulfillment, enlightenment, or any other source of personal pleasure that must be enjoyed at the moment, believers recognize that even the most beautiful of our experiences pale in comparison to what the Lord has in store for us. As 2 Corinthians 2:9 reads, “No…mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”
Hope encourages Christians to live with boldness. People often post photos of their favorite restaurants, destinations, and vacation spots or share reviews of books they recommend. Followers of Jesus will one day feast at the wedding supper of the Lamb and know of one not-to-miss-destination—heaven.
2 Corinthians 3:12 (NIV) tells us, “…since we have such a hope, we are very bold”. We may or may not be sharing on social media about Jesus, but the hope that those we know, love, and care about will be with us spurs us on to tell others about His love and what it means to be a Christian.
Hope encourages Christians to take a different approach to suffering. When struggle and trial raise their ugly heads, the reminder that heaven awaits comforts weary souls. The Bible promises “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV).
The apostle Paul, who may have understood suffering more than any of the other apostles, wrote these words under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God will redeem the believer’s pain just as He did Christ’s.
Hope encourages Christians to live with intention. Scripture assures us we were made in the image of God. Not only that but we were “created for good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). God made each of us to complete specific assignments based on our individual gifts and talents. No matter our past, He can use us to accomplish His purposes.
Hope encourages Christians because of our strong position. If we are already “seated in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6) and protected through belief in Christ, nothing can harm us. No matter the danger or threat, God will be with us. Pandemics, disease, and death are unable to overcome what Jesus did on the cross two thousand years ago.
Hope In God Sermon
Spend time focusing on God’s promises. Journal hope-filled scriptures that encourage your heart. You might start with these beautiful verses.
Print this set of free Hope Verses coloring sheets. Now, turn on your favorite praise or worship music and soak in His presence.
Get involved. Engaging in relationships, helping others, and being part of a community increase our sense of well-being. God made us to make a difference. If you’d like, join me for our online Bible study starting in July, or check with your church or a local women’s group such as Mothers of Preschoolers or Stonecroft.
Start a new hobby. Did you know that learning increases feel-good hormone production in the body? Have you always wanted to play the guitar? Fly an airplane. Play tennis like a pro? Today might be the perfect time to gather your resources, set up lessons, or plan the first session.
This article also provides a host of ideas you may find helpful.
Be encouraged, friend. Hope was born in a manger, died on a cross, and rose again so that we might have abundant life. While we wait for Him to call us home, we press on in eager anticipation as we serve one another and share about the hope of an amazing destination.