What are some of the greatest Bible verses on hope? What do they say about hope? What are some of your favorite verses on hope?
What is Hope?
The world’s view of hope is not the same as the biblical definition of hope. For the world, they hope their team wins the Super Bowl or they hope that they might get a raise at their job, but the biblical definition is remarkably different. The world’s hope is a “hope-so” but the Christian’s view of hope is a “know-so.” What does biblical hope do for us? It changes the way we live. It changes our perspective about what we are going through today. It allows us to live today with the end in mind. It changes what we think might be important to what really is important. It even changes how we see ourselves, both today and into eternity. I pray these verses give you courage, comfort, endurance, strength, boldness, and confidence to see with the eyes of faith. If our hope is in the Lord, our hope more certain than the sunrise tomorrow.
Psalm 33:18-19 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.”
I love the fact that the Lord is watching those who fear Him which is really a type of holy, reverential fear and deep respect, not a fear of being struck down and killed. Our hope is sure and steadfast because it is in His steadfast love and sure deliverance from death and our sustenance in times of leanness and famine. That is the know-so type of hope that I wrote about earlier.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
I understand that this was not written to Christians but to Israel who were being held captive by Babylon and made slave but weren’t all believers at one time held captive by their sins because Jesus said “everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). So even though this message was to Israel, God has plans for us too, even though we cannot see what they include in the future but we can trust in God that they are for our benefit (welfare) and not meant to do us harm (evil) and His plan is a great hope for us and when our hope is in Him, it is as good as done!
Acts 24:14b-15 “I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.”
Here was Paul on trial again for his belief in Christ. There are dozens of times that Paul uses the word “hope” in the defense of his faith in Christ before the religious leaders and Roman authorities and in the using it for the churches in Asia, Rome, and Judea (Acts 23:6; 24:15; 26:6). Paul had “a hope in God…that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust” and what greater hope is there that we too will be raised by Christ and that we will live with Him forever.
Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
The Book of Romans may be my favorite because this book also has dozens of uses of the word “hope” and remember what I just wrote in the previous paragraph? Paul uses the word hope in the defense of the faith but he also does in the presenting of the faith because hope and faith are two legs of the same belief and that belief is in Jesus Christ. When you read the Book of Romans you might notice that the word “hope” is sprinkled throughout the book. Paul reminded the Roman church and he reminds us today that at one time we were enemies of God (Rom 5:10) and His wrath was upon us but by Christ’s death for us we now have peace with God and we can “rejoice in [the] hope of the glory of God” because it is by “grace in which we stand.” Isn’t that reason to “rejoice in hope?”
Second Corinthians 1:7, 11 “Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”
This is a great definition of hope…it cannot be shaken. While this was in reference to Paul’s suffering for Christ’s sake, he had already seen deliverance from “a deadly peril” and knows that “he will deliver” him yet in the future. That explains why he has “set [his] hope that [God] will deliver us again.” Why? Because Paul has seen God deliver him over and over again and that is why Paul sees hope as unshakable because it is in the immutable God.
First Timothy 4:10 “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
Paul had more trials, sufferings, beating, scourging’s, stoning’s, imprisonments, and tortures than anyone else in the New Testament besides Christ. But he toiled and strived only because he had his “hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially to those who believe.” This is not a teaching on universalism because God loved the world so much that whoever in the world would believe on Him would be saved (John 3:16) but that doesn’t mean that all people in the world will be saved because not all believe in Him. He is the Savior of all but not all will make Him their Savior, however there is no stronger hope that is “set on the living God” than there can be in anything or anyone in the entire universe.
Titus 1:1-2 “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.”
One of Paul’s last letters was a pastoral letter to Titus and he wanted to assure Titus who could thus assure the church that there is hope in eternal life and this hope is as strong as the God Who promised this never ending life. We know that God never lies, nor indeed can He, but this hope of His promise began before time did (“before the ages began”). I can’t even get my mind around that!
We all have hope, whether a believer or not but if we are not a believer our hope is nothing more than wishful thinking but if we are Christ’s, then our hope is a sure as God’s existence for God gives hope to the hopeless. This hope actually purifies us. How so? First John 4:4 says that “everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” This means that whoever hopes in God will not be disappointed and that hope leads to a life of purity…not sinless but a sinner that sins less and less over time. If you have never repented and trusted in Christ, then you will have no hope for all time. It will be a hopeless eternity from which there will be no escape. There will be nothing worse in the entire universe but if your hope is put in Christ, there is no greater hope possible.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon