2 Corinthians 1:7 “And our hope for you [our joyful and confident expectation of good for you] is ever unwavering (assured and unshaken) …” (AMPC)
We use the word hope in three different ways:
- Hope is wanting something good in the future.
- Hope is a future good thing that we want.
- Hope is the reason why our hope (desire) might come to pass.
All three of these types of hope can be found in the Bible. The most significant aspect of biblical hope does not exist in any of these common uses. Usually, when we express hope, we do it with an element of uncertainty. Biblical hope is not just the desire for something good in the future but a confident expectation for something good in the future. Knowing that it will come to pass because we have faith that God said it would. Biblical hope not only desires for something good to happen – it is a confidence that it will happen. So confident that it changes our actions into preparation for the thing that is hoped for. If I really believe that my brother is coming to visit, I will prepare for that visit. I may go to the grocery store, change the sheets on the bed in the spare bedroom, all in preparation for the expectant hope that he is coming. However, if I just want him to come and visit, I probably won’t do anything to prepare.
The Amplified Bible explains the biblical concept of hope as “the confident expectation of good.” This short phrase keeps playing in my mind, and as I have p
ondered it, I have learned to expect a sense of God’s goodness in my life. Sometimes I feel like I am in crisis, but I have hope or confidence that God is working behind the scenes on my behalf. Usually, I have no idea how God will fix the mess I find my life in, but in the meantime, I have peace and joy in my life because I have expectant hope in the God I serve. If my hope starts to waiver, I simply reflect on how God has always come through before.
If your heart starts to doubt, here are five biblical reminders to keep that confident hope alive.
- Have confidence that God has a good plan for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV).
We can only see the circumstances around us; God has the BIG PICTURE view. He knows the beginning from the end; trust His view.
- God’s goodness is present amid suffering.
Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (NIV)
I remember a dear friend’s comment to me when I was in a crisis, “what looks like a disaster in the natural is often a victory in the spirit.” I have never forgotten that, and it has helped me see God’s goodness during many a storm.
- Have confidence that God will provide for all your needs.
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
God has never let me go without anything that I really needed. I have seen the miraculous hand of God providing in my life. I don’t know why He does; it certainly is not because I’m a great Christian. I have to believe it is because He loves me, and I have a confident hope that He will.
- Have confidence that other people cannot thwart God’s plan for your life.
Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV)
What God has planned for you, he will bring it to pass. NO man can prevent the work that God has prepared for you.
Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
- Have confidence that all benefits come from seeking Him.
The Apostle Paul tells us that God is a rewarder of those that seek Him in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (NIV).
Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (NIV).