The word “hope” implies an expectation or sense of waiting with the desire for something to
happen. For many of people, hope means having a positive attitude while you wait for different
circumstances. Biblical hope, however, is much greater than this; Biblical hope is confidence in the
strength of the Lord and in his faithfulness in upholding his promises. You can find so many different
Psalms, songs, and verses that talk about the eternal hope we have in Jesus (just think about some
contemporary Christian songs like Cornerstone or Living Hope or In Christ Alone). The main difference between our hope and the hope of the world is what our hope is centered on, or rather, who. If we only find hope in the circumstances of this world then we will surely be disappointed because we live in a world overrun by sin. Christ himself guarantees that a Christian life will be full of difficulties in John 16:33 (“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV). But Jesus has overcome the world. The good news of the gospel tells us that even though this world may be full of suffering, our spirit is secure in Christ because he made a way for us, and this truth is where our hope lies.
First, I want us to look at Romans 5:1-5. Romans is another letter from Paul this time to the
believers in Rome. Paul writes to Rome about peace and hope, and specifically, he says “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2 NIV). Here, Paul is saying to the Romans, and to us, that our hope is in and for the glory of God. Because the Son, Christ, has already overcome the world and died for our sins, our hope is anchored in a promise from the Creator of the universe, that he will be glorified. Paul goes on to say, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NIV). This means that even in our sufferings, even in the circumstances of the world, we may have hope because God can use those circumstances for glory. We may hope in the glory of God because he can use all things for his glory. Because we are saved, we are not focused on the trials of this world, but rather, on the glory of God, and this is worthwhile to focus on, because we are secured by the faithfulness of God. In all of this, it becomes clear that through Christ we have eternal hope, but if you find yourself continuing to struggle with this, don’t be afraid to pray for it. Look to Romans 15:13 for an example of this (“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV).
Beyond living in the fullness of Christ, we have a responsibility to have hope. Christians are called to be different, set apart from the world (1 Peter 2:9). We are called to be a light to the world and point others to Christ. Our having hope sends a message to others in this difficult time, because if the world, full of fear and anxiety, sees a believer who has hope, they may begin to wonder about Jesus and where our hope comes from. Our actions speak louder than words, and right now in this difficult time, we are called to be bold and act in a way that glorifies God. I will leave you with this: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).
*This blog was written by Sarah Barnes, a freshmen at South Alabama majoring in Business.*