When we have hope we can expect and confidently anticipate the good things in the Word of God to become a reality in our lives. The amount of hope working in our heart determines how we view the circumstances around us as well as our view of the future.
That is the difference between faith and hope. Hope is a future reality or experience. It is something to look forward to that we desire, expect, or anticipate happening at some time in the future. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Presently, in the now of our life, we are not experiencing it or have not received it. It hasn’t manifested or become a physical reality yet. The things we hope for we are not seeing them physically in our possession or having happened. Faith gives us the confidence, the assurance, the full persuasion, (in other words, you are convinced) now that what we hope for will happen.
God through His Word and Spirit are the source of all hope (Romans 15:4, 13) but there are three general areas where the spiritual force of hope must be learned and applied. We can describe these areas of hope for the future as the:
- BLESSED HOPE Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:3.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
This is the hope of the Rapture or Resurrection where Jesus comes for us as the His Church and Body. Those who have this hope in them are self motivated to purify themselves and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
- BECOMING HOPE Colossians 1:27
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
This is the hope that encourages and assures us that we can change outwardly into Christ-like behavior and attitudes because the hope of that change and potential for that change is already in us. It is Christ in us the hope of glory or the hope of becoming manifested outwardly all that God says we already are inwardly in Christ. When we become frustrated with ourselves not changing in our conduct, our attitudes, and our words we have to be able to hope that we can change. When we keep failing, struggling, and feel like giving up or giving in to despair we need to have a hope that we can change. We don’t have to get into self hatred or diminish ourselves. The hope and potential for change is already in us (Christ in us the hope of glory) and God is committed to our becoming Christ-like. God won’t give up on us and neither should we give up on ourselves. God predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus (Romans 8:29). “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”
- BIBLE HOPE Romans 4:18
Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
This area of hope is from God’s promises (Ephesians 2:12), the Scriptures (Romans 15:4), what God says to us by His Word or Spirit (Romans 4:18), and the Gospel ((Colossians 1:23). It is Bible hope as opposed to natural hope. There is a difference between natural hope and Bible hope. Romans 4:18 says of Abraham, “Who against hope (natural hope) believed in hope (spiritual hope or hope from what God said).” The difference is natural hope is based on natural knowledge and information. Someone could say “A new company is in town and they are hiring workers at $50 an hour. That information could cause you to get your hopes up but then if they said days later all the positions have been filled your hopes would go down. Your hope was built totally on the natural knowledge and information. When natural hope is gone, it’s natural to say there is no hope. Bible hope has nothing to do with natural knowledge. In Abraham’s case all natural hope was gone (Romans 4:13-23). The natural information said your body Abraham is now dead and Sarah’s womb is also dead you cannot have a child. The promise of God came and said he would be the father of many nations. He could have hope based on spiritual information that he decided to believe against the natural information. Bible hope works when all natural hope is gone.