Hope is one of the more common words employed in daily discussions. And as such, it has over time gained conversational and contextual meanings. These meanings are not necessarily incorrect, but they have the unintended effect of obscuring scriptural truth when applied to the word of God. Sometimes, when we say I hope, it’s possible we invariably mean, some form of wishful thinking we concede on account of things that are beyond our control, which we’d want to turn out according to our desires.
But what do the Scriptures mean when it commends Hope to us or beckons on us to Hope? There are generally two Greek words employed, however, we’d settle for one. The word is Elpis. When scriptures use this word, the idea conveyed is that of confident expectation, anticipation, premised on something true, real, and sure.
As a core concept, we’d consider three ‘Hopes’. Understand that, whilst they are related, we want to identify them distinctively.
Hope of the Resurrection of the dead. (Acts 23:6, Acts 24:15)
I start with this because I believe it’s a reality that most believers don’t understand. And it’s one of the pillars that the devil obscures from our heart. It’s not that we don’t believe it, rather it’s that we don’t realize its implications.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
Hope of the Gospel (Col 1:23)
This is a bit more encompassing, it’s the summation of all that God put together in the reality of the Gospel, which is by design the power of God, for in it redemption and the redemptive purpose are revealed. It is in the context of this hope that our faith has relevance, and from which the devil seeks to lure us into his schemes, using the world system, humanism, and all that seek to exalt itself over the knowledge of God.
Hope of your calling (Eph 1:18; 4:4)
The Good news translation renders Ephesians 1:18 as- “I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light, so that you will know what is the hope to which he has called you…”
Godsword translation, puts it this way: Then you will have deeper insight. You will know the confidence that he calls you to have and the glorious wealth that God’s people will inherit.
This hope only comes following the enlightenment of our understanding, such that we can know the reality of the confidence he calls us to have. Sadly though most believers know nothing of this confidence, for their prosecution of the Christian faith is at odds to the high calling of God. Hence we cause shadows and live ordinary lives whilst laying claims to the extraordinary.
Tomorrow we’d by God’s grace consider some other hope that we are called to have as believers. Until then.
Remain blessed. Stay safe. Observe all necessary precautions. Grace and peace be multiplied unto us.