Essentially, our hope is in the Kingdom of God. But sometimes we get a mixed message about what Gods government will be like because we see human governments abounding with various modes some are tyrannical, some are monarchal, some are democratic, and all are bureaucratic. When we look at the government God gave to ancient Israel, we wonder how we would fit in to a government run by judges instead of executives and legislators. But, the secret is the Kingdom of God will be a patriarchy where Jesus in locus parentis of God will run the Kingdom like a family, a very happy, prosperous, harmonious family relationship. This is what we hope for.
But wait a minute, its not like hoping for something like good weather for the picnic, or the big deal will go through. Neither is hope hoping that we will get into the Kingdom of God. The Biblical hope looks at hope in a different way.
One of the reasons we have such a tentative attitude toward hope derives from its etymology. Heres what Shipley says about hopes roots:
A corned rat fights; it cannot run away. We speak of the fury of despair; and desperado is past participle of OSp. desperar, to despair: a desperate one, from L. desperate, desperat-, from de, with + sper, hope. It is a sad reflection on human hopes that the word sper has come to us only in its negative forms
Shipley, Dictionary of Word Origins.
People lose hope or become unsure of good outcomes because they have lost contact with the One True God and Creator of the universe. Hope, a viable root in Hebrew, has a meaning derived from being linked to God.
Hope, our Connection to God
One of the Hebrew words for hope means a connection, to God, of course. Hope is the rope that binds us to God; it is the chain that links our minds to His.
8615.tiqvah, tik-vaw´; from 6960; literally, a cord (as an attachment (compare 6961)); figuratively, expectancy.
This cord attaches us to God most powerfully, in fact, mightier than anything in the universe. So hope is really our relationship with God that no one or nothing can interfere with, not even our own human nature constantly trying to pull us down to the level of savagery or insanity.
The cord that connects us to God, as James says, is Gods Word and Commandments. When we keep all the Commandments we have a strong chain linking us to God, but breaking even one link, or Commandment, breaks the union to Him.
Hope in the Lord
From the strength aspect of hope, the Psalmist encourages believers.
Psa. 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.
However, this verse uses a different Hebrew word for hope.
3176.yachal, yaw-chal´; a primitive root; to wait; by implication, to be patient, hope:(cause to, have, make to) hope, be pained, stay, tarry, trust, wait.
The main root of yachal is Yah, which is the Hebrew for the name of God. We get the word, Yahweh from Yah. Therefore, not only are we linked to God by hope, it is intrinsic to Gods Nature.
These root sounds tell us that hope unites us to God as His beloved. And the hope we have toward God encircles us with His love and promises found in His covenants. When we hope in God, he heals us, gives us joy, and makes us successful and righteous. Being right means being righteous with all its moral implications. Finally, a believer who hopes in God is born (again) to walk in Gods way and with God.
Psa. 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
Psa. 38:15 For I hope in You, O LORD;
You will answer, O Lord my God.
Await the Lord
Hope certainly revolves around salvation, and we hope to be saved in all circumstances, not just in the end time. (More on salvation, later.) Yet, hope comes from and is maintained by Gods Word, which is embedded in our minds, thus, never to be lost. When we need to be rescued and time seems to be running out, our hope and assurance sustain us until God in His righteous judgment and timing, pulls us free, almost at the last moment it sometimes seems. But, timing is everything.
Psa. 119:166 I hope for Your salvation, O LORD,
And do Your commandments.
Psa. 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
Rom. 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
We always need to renew Gods Word within and to do the Word without or else we become forgetful. Hope demands it!
1680. elpis; from the same as 1679; expectation, hope:
1679. elpizo; (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); to expect, to hope (for):
The faithful know they have received salvation and expect to be changed fully at the time of Christs return. The faithful know the love God has for them, not because they are particularly righteous, but because He showed His mercy when He had His Son die in believers place. This unmerited pardon made them heirs to the expectation of eternal life. As sure as the Word of God exists, believers will never die because they are washed by regeneration and the renewal of the Spirit.
Titus 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
Titus 3:6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Titus 3:7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Since believers have been born again, they never have to worry or hope that they have eternal life. The real hope, which is expectation, knows that when a person is buried like Christ in baptism that he was resurrected like Christ from the dead. Yes, there will be a period of sleep appearing as death, but the body will be changed into a better material, a spiritual one. Just as a seed must die before it can be transformed to a plant, so to must believers cast off the physical body for the new one, when the time is right.
1Pet. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Jesus Appeared in the Last Times to Give us the Expectation of Salvation
When God first planned to create the world for Jesus and believers through Jesus, the Language, or Word, of God existed. Of course Gods Language always existed because He is the God who speaks and language is intrinsic to His Being. In the beginning God planned to have a Son, knew He would have a Son when the time was right and knew that He would adopt other sons and daughters to be in the Kingdom of God. That expectation, that hope is the sure knowledge that believers have salvation, that is, are in the Kingdom of God but only as émigrés to this world.
We know from the accounts of many eyewitnesses that Jesus indeed was born almost two thousand years ago and died to destroy sin, so the wages of sin, death, would be paid, not by the sinner but by the one who sinned not. And those who believe and hope on Jesus would attain eternal life through his loving sacrifice.
As always, Jesus points us to Our Father in Heaven who made all things and made all things possible. Jesus showed how he subverted his will to the Will of Our Father in Heaven and we are the beneficiaries of that will, that is, inherit the Kingdom of God. We must expect, hope, that we will be changed at Jesus return.
1Pet. 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
1Pet. 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
A New Creation
In truth, the creation was not finished at the end of six days in the beginning. In deed, God planned to change human beings made of flesh into human beings made of spirit. The first human being who was changed was Jesus, the first born of many, who will be changed as well later when the time is right. That is the expectation of believers, not that they hope to be changed, but that they will be changed and become new creations patterned after the likeness of Jesus as he exists today. That is the truth of hope.
225. aletheia; from 227; truth
226. aletheuo; from 227; to speak the truth
227. alethes; from 1 (as a neg. pref.) and (to escape notice); true.
Notice the power of hope when the thing expected is spoken be-cause God always speaks the Truth and records it in His written record, the Bible. The Word of God is that cord spoken earlier that keeps us forever linked to Our Father in Heaven. So the Kingdom of God began with Jesus death and resurrection; that is the first stage. The second stage is when its citizens, all those who believe in the Truth and choose to accept the calling from Our Father in Heaven, are born again, this time of the Spirit. The next stage is when Jesus returns to claim his rightful throne and believers will be changed into that eternal stuff, the spiritual body.
Gal. 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Eph. 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
1Pet. 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and en-during word of God.
Comfort of Hope in Times of Tribulation
Christ suffered for our sicknesses; he was tempted in every way that we could be; he experienced death. Why? He was willing to do all this for us because he cared and needed to know what we experience. But he never lost the permanent chain of hope.
We also have afflictions and problems, and we are tempted. Some think that trials extinguish the flame of hope, but, no, they rather fuel it with a mighty force. When we learn to drive, we go through all those problems of learning to control the vehicle. If we teach someone to drive, we understand what he is going through because we have been there and done that. If we get the flu or some other illness, we can explain to another getting sick what to expect and not to worry because we have been there and done that. Especially, we have hope because Jesus has suffered all, and can now tell us not to worry because he has been there and done that. And, he further can tell us: look how well it turned out for him. Certainly it will turn out well for us. Hope never fails.
2Cor. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
2Cor. 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2Cor. 1:5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
When people put their trust or hope in vain or evil things or beings, they have no hope, just wishes in fairy godmothers; they believe in fiction. No point in wishing upon a star because they will receive no answer. Some put their hopes in money and attempt to acquire it by any mean including robbery. Others work to the exclusion of all else and fail to keep the Sabbath in the process. Money becomes the end and be all. Surely riches are they trust in. Money obtained, however, in righteous pursuits will never turn a daughter to gold, as the old fable relates.
Psa. 62:10 Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
Psa. 52:7 Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches
And was strong in his evil desire.
Jesus warned against greed, having that overwhelming desire to have more wealth than is needed or can be spent in a lifetime or two, even. He said at some point a person must choose between God and mammon, the worst sense of greed and corrupting influence.
Luke 12:15 Then He said to them, Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.
1Tim. 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Another false hope or trust is oppression, which we have seen through the ages and prevalent today in the form of various dictators through out the world and terrorism. Many people trust and hope in these forms of oppression. But oppression of any sort only generates hatred and violence. The dictatorial hopes of individuals leave them and the oppressed wishing for true hope only found in God.
Is. 30:12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
Since you have rejected this word
And have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them,
Ezek. 22:29 The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.
Fix Mind on the Expected Salvation
To reach a goal, one must concentrate and crave that end above all else; that is especially true in obtaining the hope in the salvation provided by Our Father in Heaven. Those who attach themselves to false hopes often have a dedication to their goals and hopes far more intensely than those who believe and hope in the Truth.
So a person should dwell on the Word and continually consider how to implement it in all activities. All things must come under the umbrella of Gods Word to do it. A person must be unswerving in the application of the Truth because nothing else has value or can lead into eternity. When the things seem to go awry, that shining city on the hill, the Kingdom of God must always be in the front of ones mind, so much so that everything else around fades into the background, a mere blur of existence which may end sooner than later. And as the city radiates in our minds eye, our actions ought to be an ever-brighter light giving God glory. That is hope.
1John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
1John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Faith is the Assurance of things Hoped for
Heb. 11:1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hope is our bond to Our Father in Heaven, and we will never despair because our hope is based on the Truth, not lies or fantasies. We know with full assurance that we are a new creation and will, when the time is right, be changed into a person like Jesus, made of spiritual stuff. We know that our hope is true; we do not hope it is.
Eph. 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Eph. 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Eph. 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.