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The Meaning of Hope in the Bible

The Bible talks a lot about faith, but it also talks a lot about hope. We often focus on faith but don’t realize that hope is also vital in our relationship with God. In this post, I will outline the essential nature of hope, the meaning of hope in the Bible, and close out with some scriptures on hope. I hope it encourages you.

What is hope

It says in Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We have within this passage two words: "Faith and Hope." It should be noted that faith and hope are different, yet both are required.

Faith is a foundational component of our relationship with God. Everything we receive from God, every activity of God in our lives, is worked in us through faith. We know from Hebrews 11:6 it says, that without faith, it is impossible to please God.

But hope is also necessary. We see in Hebrews 11:1 that faith is the substance of things hoped for. So, to walk in faith, hope also needs to be involved. A building block of faith is hope.


The question is, what is hope? What is Biblical hope? In our world, hope is often looked at as a desired wish. The desired outcome may happen. There is a sense of expectation, but it is uncertain. For example, someone may hope they get a job. They hope that a person likes them romantically. Many hope they win the lottery. There is a desired outcome, but the future is uncertain.

Biblically, while there are some similarities to what I described above, the function or activity of hope differs.

In the Bible, hope is in the future; it looks forward. Yes, hope is the desired outcome or goal. But hope is also the promise that you see in scripture. Hope is what you are looking to God to do. For example, hope is the desired healing, the answer to prayer, the job you need, resolving the family conflict, and the financial need taken care of. Yet, it goes beyond just a desire to having a confident expectation in the outcome because of confidence or faith in God.

We could define hope as the confident expectation of God, the confident expectation of promise, or the confident expectation of God.

In the clip below, I define hope.

As we saw above, faith is the substance of things hoped for. Practically speaking, God, through His Word and the Holy Spirit, inspires hope of what He, or His promise, brings, which then produces faith to receive His promises. Hope sustains us as we walk in faith while we wait for the promise yet to come.

So faith and hope work hand in hand. You cannot experience hope (confident expectation) outside of a relationship with God.

God is the God of hope. Romans 15:13 - Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here is why the world can't live in real hope.


Let's now look at some scriptures on the subject of hope.

Psalm 38:15 - For in You, O Lord, do I hope; You will answer, O Lord my God.

Psalm 42:5 - Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God, for I will yet thank Him for the help of His presence.

Psalm 62:5 - My soul, wait silently for God, for my hope is from Him.

Psalm 119:74 - Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your word.

Psalm 119:114 - You are my hiding place and my shield, I hope in Your word.

Proverbs 13:12 - Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

Romans 4:18 - Against all hope, he believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Romans 5:5 - And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:24-25 - For we are saved through hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does a man still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

1 Corinthians 13:13 - So now abide faith, hope, and love, these three. But the greatest of these is love.

Galatians 5:5 - For we, through the Spirit, by faith, eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

Colossians 1:5 - because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you have already heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,

1 Thessalonians 5:8 - But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

Hebrews 3:6 - But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a Son, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of our hope firm to the end.

1 Peter 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 John 3:3 - Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If this has encouraged you, please share it with others. Blessings!

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