What is hope?

We live as individuals but share in the human experience. This post series asks the core questions of what, why, and how about this shared experience. After all, God came to earth as a human himself, to share that experience with us and bring us salvation through that human experience. So, join us today as we explore the core question… what is hope?

Hope is expectation and desire

Hope is a mingling of expectation of desire. It is both a noun and a verb. Hope is a thing we feel and have (noun), in that we have hope that something good will happen. Hope is also the action and experience of longing for that positive thing (verb), in that we hope that something good will happen.

We do the hoping, and we hold onto the hope itself.

While we expect many things in life (for example… tax season) we hope for the things we want in life (to get a tax refund instead of owing more money).

Biblical hope is a certainty

You may notice above that hope is associated with things we don’t yet have, but which we want and possibly expect. God actually goes beyond this as He helps us understand hope.

In the Bible, hope is more confident and certain than our typical everyday understanding. Thanks to God, biblical hope is such a certain expectation of achieving the desirable thing or experience that we are fully confident of it – as if the thing has already happened. Because we know who God is, and because we know what his Son has already accomplished, we can be fully confident that the good we long for will be done.

This does not mean that God has guaranteed to meet every whim and desire that we hold. You may or may not ever become a millionaire. You may or may not have perfect health or get straight A’s or marry the person you’re currently dating.

Biblical hope is a certainty in ultimate goodness – confident that God’s good plans will come to pass, and that they are in fact good.

We hope for peace. We hope for security. We hope for forgiveness, justice, kindness, mercy. We hope for salvation and eternal life. Each of these are already secured in Jesus Christ, and our faith in God is grounded in the hope that we have for these things. They have already been secured, and we will fully experience them in heaven.

If you are interested in a deeper exploration of what hope is, check out this sermon by John Piper.

Check out: Why do we hope?

Coming soon… How do we hope?

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director