How Can We Grasp the Hope of God’s Promise?

How Can We Grasp the Hope of God’s Promise? July 9, 2024

Photo by Ronak Valobobhai on Unsplash

Our world tells us to “grab for all you can get.” God calls us to grasp the hope of his promise, “which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being” (Hebrews 6:19)!


Micah, chapters 1-4; Hebrews, chapter 6

Hebrews 6:13-20 (CEB):

When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater. He said, “I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants.” So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience.

People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument. When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie.

He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us, since he became a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Observations: Patiently Grasp the Hope

The story of Abraham was familiar to the people to whom Hebrews was addressed; they traced their ancestry back to him. God had promised to Abraham to bless him and make him a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3).  Abraham’s challenge was that at the time God promised that, he was 75 years old and had no children! So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience – he grasped the hope of God’s promise.

Why was Abraham able to show patience? Because “Abraham had faith in God” (Romans 4:3). The first step toward the fulfillment of God’s promise – the birth of Isaac – happened 25 years after God’s promise! The ultimate fulfillment, of course, didn’t come until the birth of Jesus almost 2,000 years later. It is through Jesus that “all the families of earth” have been blessed by God (Genesis 12:3). Abraham didn’t see that ultimate fulfillment, but he did see God’s first step – by showing patience.

Grasp the Hope of God’s Promise

Later in Hebrews, the author will tell us: “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see” (Hebrews 11:1, emphasis added). Because we trust God’s promise, we believe in what we hope for – a home in God’s eternal kingdom. We have the advantage of living “downstream” from the coming of Jesus, but we still need to have patience. When we think of God’s promises and God’s faithfulness, we can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us.

Grasping that hope requires faith, because we can’t see the final result. Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. But we can see the pointers along the way! We see the historical pointers in the life of Jesus, and in the lives of those who have gone before us. Hebrews 11 famously gives us numerous examples of those who patiently served and endured as they waited for the hope that they couldn’t yet see. We can draw on our own experiences, the ways that God has worked in us and for our good. We don’t see the final result yet, but we can be encouraged to grasp the hope!

Application: Grasp the Hope in Front of Us

We need to understand the fundamental tension between grasping the hope and showing patience.“Grasping” is not usually a “patient” act! So how do we balance the two?

By remembering who is in control. We have hope because of God, not because of ourselves. Our hope is grounded in God’s promise, not in our activities. Now, what we do is important. Earlier in chapter 6, the author of Hebrews says: “But we desperately want each of you to show the same effort to make your hope sure until the end. This is so you won’t be lazy but follow the example of the ones who inherit the promises through faith and patience” (Hebrews 6:11-12, emphasis added).

Our actions demonstrate the depth and sincerity of our faith. If we really believe what we say we believe, it ought to make a difference in the way we live! Jesus himself said it this way: “Not everybody who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21). He also said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Grasping the hope means living by faith – doing what God calls us to do!


Father, forgive us for the times when we have not lived in accordance with what we say we believe. Give us the faith to grasp the hope in front of us, while patiently waiting for you to do what only you can do. As we remember that you are in control, we can trust in your promises.

When we start to feel discouraged, give us the peace and the patience that are fruits of your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Help us to follow the example of those who have gone before us, that we may glorify you.  Amen.

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