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10 Things the Bible Tells Us about Hope

10 Things the Bible Tells Us about Hope

Author Hal Lindsey said, “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air… but only for one second without hope.” Hope not only affects how we live, it determined whether or not some people survived such atrocities as concentration camps.

So, how is your hope? Does it bounce back after being hit? Or does it pop like a balloon lanced by a pin? On what is your hope based?

The Bible shows us that people of faith are people of hope. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Those who trust God have more reason for hope than those who don’t. But problems without visible solutions test the faith and challenge the hope of even the most devout.

The Bible says to encourage each other every day (Hebrews 4:13). So here are 10 biblical truths to refresh your hope.

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  • 1. Unfailing hope rests in God alone.

    1. Unfailing hope rests in God alone.

    “We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone” (Psalm 33:20-22 NLT).

    Straddling the gap between a dock and an untethered boat is unstable and uncomfortable. When we live with one foot planted in the Lord and the other in our circumstances, a small ripple is enough to topple our hope. 

    The psalmist said his hope was in God alone. His hope was not in what he saw, understood, or even in how confident he felt.

    In what is your hope resting—in a doctor’s report, bank statement, or in God alone? Take a moment to plant both feet of hope in God. 

     

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  • 2. Hope is not a synonym for wish.

    2. Hope is not a synonym for wish.

    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NASB).

    We often use the term “hope” to mean wishful thinking. We wish for something we aren’t sure we’ll get. We hope for something we know God will provide or accomplish. Biblical hope refers to a confident assertion.

    Faith in Christ’s promises is the foundation of unsinkable hope. The better we know Jesus, the stronger our faith grows. The stronger our faith, the more buoyant our hope. 

    If your hope is sinking, read God’s Word and ask the Lord to strengthen your faith. Faith comes from hearing the stories about Christ (Romans 10:17).

     

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  • 3. Suffering strengthens Christian hope.

    3. Suffering strengthens Christian hope.

    “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 NASB).

    During a tough time, a young woman feeling rather frustrated with God asked Him, “Where’s the hope?” 

    As she read the above verse she sensed the Holy Spirit reply, “Where’s the character?”

    Trials build character, which in turn produces hope. Watching God transform us reminds us how much He loves us. And if He cares that much about our personal growth, nothing is too small or too difficult for Him. 

     

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  • 4. Postponed hope makes the heart sick.

    4. Postponed hope makes the heart sick.

    “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12 NIV).

    If something you’ve hoped for hasn’t happened and you feel heartsick, it’s normal. Month after month passes and you’re still not pregnant; the promotion hasn’t come, or the weight hasn’t dropped. It’s normal to feel disappointed. 

    Don’t beat yourself up. Take your desires to God. Perhaps He wants to tweak them. Or maybe He’s just saying, “Wait.” Either way, He cares about your desires (Psalm 37:4).

     

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  • 5. We worship the God of hope.

    5. We worship the God of hope.

    “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).

    If God is the source of our hope then we have an endless supply—no matter how grim our circumstances appear. Notice, we release hope “as we trust in Him.” Faith in Christ, not in our idea of how things should turn out, activates hope. 

     

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  • 6. We need hope for what we can't see.

    6. We need hope for what we can't see.

    “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” (Romans 8:24).

    Hope, by definition, is for when we can’t see how something will work out. Hope is needed most when we can’t imagine how God can solve our problem. 

    Abraham’s hope in God’s promise to give he and Sarah a son grew as their situation became more impossible. Like Abraham, the worse the “facts” look, the more God’s promises mean. We say, “Wow, You must have some kind of miracle planned to keep that promise!” (See Romans 4:18-21).

     

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  • 7. God can do immeasurably more than we can imagine.

    7. God can do immeasurably more than we can imagine.

    “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV).

    What is the best outcome you can envision coming from your challenge? God’s plans are even better than you can imagine—immeasurably better. When we hope in God, we discover His ways are always better than we could have hoped for. He works on an eternal timetable, and His plans are worth waiting for. 

     

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  • 8. A wrong focus destroys hope.

    8. A wrong focus destroys hope.

    “My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the Lord” (Lamentations 3:18 NASB).

    God’s prophet lost his hope when he focused on his miserable circumstances. If that happens to prophets, you can be sure it happens to us too. 

    What do you think about more, your problems or God’s unfailing love and character?

     

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  • 9. Recalling God's faithfulness restores lost hope.

    9. Recalling God's faithfulness restores lost hope.

    “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23 NASB). 

    Jeremiah’s hope returned when he turned his thoughts back to God. Does that sound too simplistic? Try it. Remember God’s faithfulness in the past. Read Bible stories and notice how God worked on His people’s behalf. Hope is fed by renewing our minds with truth.

     

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  • 10. We can look ahead in hope.

    10. We can look ahead in hope.

    “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11 NLT).

    Do you fear the future? We don’t know what lies ahead, but God does. And He says He has good plans for His children. Those in Christ have hope for the future.

    The next time a problem threatens your peace, hope in God, and watch your problems diminish!

    A Prayer for Hope

    Dear God of hope, thank you that you are able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. Thank you for your promise to work all things together for the good of those who love you. Fill me with your hope, peace, and joy as I trust in You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

     

    Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson speaks and writes to help others discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog.

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