Biblical hope is different from worldly hope. Worldly hope is defined by the Oxford dictionary as a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. A wish or a dream. Biblical hope is not wishing for something and is more than an emotion. It speaks of steadfastness to endure the waiting season because we trust in the Lord.
There are a couple of Hebrew and Greek words that mean hope. In essence, these terms are images of faith or trust in God to remain strong until we see all that was promised, come to pass. Let’s have a closer look at some of these symbols and aspects of Biblical hope.
Hope is a stronghold or fortress. Some Hebrew Words used for hope are betach, machseh, and mibtach, which mean a place of refuge, shelter, safety, security, a feeling of trust, and bold confidence in one’s safety. Hope in God helps us to stand strong against fear.
Zechariah urges us to return to that fortress of hope because of the Lord and our salvation. We might feel like prisoners in our circumstances but, we are not held captive by fear but are invited to enter the refuge and safety of an intimate relationship with the Lord. It is the place where we can call on the name of the Lord, cling to Him, and trust in His word.
“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.”
Zechariah 9:12 ESV
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.”
Psalms 16:9 NKJV
Hope is a rope. Another Hebrew word for hope is tiqvah, which is derived from two other words in the Bible. These words mean a chord that is bound together by twisting or an attachment. The Greek equivalent is elpis.
A rope is two or three strands of fiber twisted together. The multitude of strands gives the rope its strength. That is why Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 4 that a chord with three strands will not easily break. A rope can only function at its true strength when it is fastened or held and stretched to create tension between these strands. When our circumstances stretch us to our limits, we find hope and strength in God. We are bound to Him through Christ, and He does not abandon us.
Figuratively, tiqvah means an expectation or waiting patiently for something. So, when we are waiting with patient expectation, our faith and hope in God are stretched. This patient endurance can only triumph when we have hope in God. We can never come to the end of our rope of Hope as Christians because God will always be there. God is the sure thing. He is not limited by human and natural circumstances.
“Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the LORD And whose hope and confident expectation is the LORD. For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters, That spreads out its roots by the river; And will not fear the heat when it comes; But its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought Nor stop bearing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 AMP
“For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.”
Romans 8:24-25 AMP
Hope is trust in the Lord. The Hebrew word, yachal, means to wait and trust with patience. We put our trust, not in the thing we are hoping for. Not in earthly, material things or even people. These things are fickle, fleeting, and can change the in an instant. We put our trust in the Lord. He is faithful, the same yesterday, today, and forever, and keeps His promises.
“Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.”
Psalms 31:24 NKJV
“How blessed and graciously favored is he whose help is the God of Jacob (Israel), Whose hope is in the LORD his God,”
Psalms 146:5 AMP
“The LORD is my portion and my inheritance,” says my soul; “Therefore I have hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”
Lamentations 3:24 AMP
The message of the Gospel and spending eternity with God give us hope. It helps us to look to eternity and not get discouraged. Hope is an anchor for our soul. Despite our emotions and what we might experience on earth, we will always have the hope and knowledge of living with God for all of eternity. It is that hope of knowing no matter how tough life might become, eternity is our reward. This life is merely a vapor, a drop in the ocean, compared to all Jesus has prepared for us in Heaven. On earth, we can already enter the presence of God because of Jesus. But in heaven, we will experience the fullness of God continuously.
“Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!”
Colossians 1:27 TPT
“in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began”
Titus 1:2 ESV
“This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 6:19-20 AMP
Which image of hope and trust in God resonates within your heart? The fortress, the rope, or the anchor? May your image be a constant reminder of God, your hope. May you be reminded that your hope is secure, steadfast, fixed, immovable, stable, strong, sure, and always present. Hope is solidified in our Lord and God. He is our Hope and promises to give us hope by His Holy Spirit. Do not lose heart in the waiting and the trusting. Hold on to the hope of the Lord, safe in Him, bound to Him, intertwined in relationship with Him, anchored to Him, and trusting that His goodness and Word will prevail.
Stay resolute my friend.
VERSE IMAGE OF THE WEEK