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More Than “Hope So”

The cynical editor and writer H. L. Mencken once defined hope as “a pathological belief in the occurrence of the impossible.” But that definition does not agree with the New Testament meaning of the word. True Christian hope is more than “hope so.” It is confident assurance of future glory and blessing.

Hope is found throughout the Scriptures. An Old Testament believer called God “the hope of Israel” (Jeremiah 14:8). A New Testament believer affirms that Jesus Christ is his hope (1 Timothy 1:1; and see Colossians 1:27). The unsaved sinner is “without hope” (Ephesians 2:12), and if he dies without Christ, he will be hopeless forever.

Peter is preeminently the apostle of hope, as Paul is the apostle of faith, and John of love. In 1 Peter he writes that believers have a “living hope” because we trust a living Christ (1:3). This hope enables us to keep our minds under control and “hope to the end” (1:13) for the return of Jesus Christ. We must not be ashamed of our hope but ready to explain it and defend it (3:15).

This confident hope gives us the encouragement and enablement we need for daily living. It does not put us in a rocking chair where we complacently await the return of Jesus Christ. Instead, it keeps us going when the burdens are heavy and the battles are hard. Hope is not a sedative; it is a shot of adrenaline, a blood transfusion. Like an anchor, our hope in Christ stabilizes us in the storms of life (Hebrews 6:18,19); but unlike an anchor, our hope moves us forward, it does not hold us back.

—Condensed from Be Hopeful by Warren W. Wiersbe.