• I hope the weather stays clear so my washing can dry.
• I hope that shop is still open.
• I hope to see my friends during the holidays
• WE hope the All Blacks win the Webb Ellis trophy this weekend!
Of course this is a legitimate way of using the word "hope". It conveys a sense of longing or desire, but cannot be quite sure of the outcome - basically we "hope for the best"...more akin to "wishful thinking" than "confident assurance".
The English translations of the Bible use the word hope in this way too. However, there are other uses of the word, and one in particular that we need to get our heads around. It is the "hope" that we have in Christ.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."
This is not a passive hope that "wishes for the best". This hope is confident and sure. This hope is found in the very nature and character of God and is the result of Him transforming us - this is the hope of salvation!
2 Corinthians 3:12 "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold."
Sometimes we may forget the hope that we have in Christ and think that it is more akin to the "wishful thinking" of predicting the outcome of a Rugby game. But our hope in Christ is far more than that. It is dependable and reliable, and for this reason we can be bold - bold in our confidence, and bold in our witness for Jesus.
Let me encourage you today: Hope beyond hope. Have a hope in your salvation that will make you bold and confident - a hope that comes from a transformed life.
Pastor David Auty