Hope is a basic and powerful part of the human experience. Paul said faith, hope and charity are the three abiding things (1Cor 13:13). We all know what it is like to hope, but how do we define it? There are several words in the Bible translated hope. The meaning of the most common ones is expectation or waiting. Obviously we are usually hoping for something good that we do not yet have. We do not hope for that which we already have (Rom 8:24-25). There is a difference between hope and faith. Hope is the expectation of something good. Faith is the confidence that God will do it. Everyone can hope. You and your situation are not:
1. Too late (Ruth 1:12, Ezra 10:2, Job 14:7, Ps 16:9, Ps 130:5, Prov 14:32, Jer 31:17). Christians
understand that even death does not make it too late.
2. Too unimportant (Job 5:16)
3. Too weak (Job 6:11, Ps 31:24, Ps 119:81, Lam 3:21-29)
4. Too young (Ps 22:9, Prov 19:18)
5. Too discouraged (Ps 31:24, Ps 42:5 & 11, Ps 43:5)
6. Too foolish (Prov 29:20)
There is great danger in hopelessness (Is 57:10, Jer 2:25, Jer 18:12, Lam 3:18, Acts 27:20, Eph 2:12, 1Thes 4:13). Job thought there was no hope for him, and he wanted to die (Job 7:6, Job 14:9, Job 17:15, Job 19:10). People who lose a sense of hope make terrible and reckless decisions, and commit spiritual, relational, physical, and financial suicide. It doesn't matter whether or not there is hope. Their perception is that there is not, and it drives them to destructive behavior.
Another danger is false hope (Job 8:13-14, Job 11:20, Job 27:8, Job 31:24, Job 41:9, Eze 19:5, Eze 37:11). When we place our hope in unreliable people, we expect unrealistic things of God, or we expect situations that will never come to pass, we can get discouraged and even depressed when we realize our hope is not going to come to pass. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life (Prov 13:12)." We need to have wisdom about who and what we hope in. The only foolproof place to put our hope is in God, but even then we must be careful; not because God fails to keep His word, but because we may expect things from God that He is not going to do. That is why we need to know Him and His written word so w e know what a right hope is. The highest and best hope we can have is the hope of the resurrection to eternal life (Ps 16:9, Acts 23:6, Acts 24:15, Acts 26:6-7, Acts 28:20, 1Cor 15:19, Col 1:15 & 27, Titus 1:2, Titus 2:13, Titus 3:7, Heb 6:18-19, 1Pet 1:13, 1Jn 3:3). This hope can cause us to overcome everything.
Here are some other interesting scriptures about hope:
1. I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope (Hos 2:15)
2. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope (Zech 9:12)
3. (Abraham) against hope believed in hope (Rom 4:18)
4. hope maketh not ashamed (Rom 5:4-5)
5. Rejoicing in hope (Rom 12:12)
6. we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Rom 15:4)
7. ye are called in one hope of your calling (Eph 4:4)
8. be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is
in you with meekness and fear (1Pet 3:15)