By Jack Weaver
For centuries man has misunderstood or misinterpreted many words in God’s Holy Scripture. “Scholars” debate the meanings of Biblical words and we must determine whether such interpretations are errors or truth. If errors, whether they are accidental or deliberate. Let’s take the wonderful and exhilarating word “Hope” and see if we can understand it. Of course this writing will be an abbreviated explanation of the word but it is a start.
One may say, “I hope it will not rain today.” “I hope my car will start when I have an emergency.” “I hope my children will grow up to be great citizens.” “I hope. I hope. I hope.”
The standard dictionary definition, and one that is generally accepted by most of the world is “to FEEL that something desired MAY happen:” The words “feel” and “may” are two very indefinite and vague words, but such a definition of “hope” exemplifies the thinking of most people.
The dictionary definition of the word “hope” is NOT the Biblical Hope of which we speak.
Let us investigate the Old and New Testament meanings of the word “Hope.”
“Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”
Hope in this verse is the Hebrew word, “yachal” meaning “trust.”
“Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”
Again this is the same Hebrew word, “trust.”
“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”
Here we see a slightly different Hebrew word “towcheleth“ but with the same root but meaning “expectation.” These and many, many more verses illustrate the Psalmist’s reliance upon the trustworthiness of the Lord. The Lord CAN be trusted. He WILL keep His promises.
Now, in the New Testament we see the word “Hope” in several verses. This word “Hope” is an absolute, a guarantee without a doubt. It is the Greek word “elpis” meaning “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.”
“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
We rejoice in the glory of God, not with uncertainty but with joyful anticipation — guaranteed.
“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;“
The Hope of Heaven is not a maybe — but an absolute and definite guarantee by the Word of the Truth of the Gospel.
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
Eternal life — guaranteed and promised by the God of the Universe. He cannot lie.
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
Every believer in Jesus Christ may look with confidence to the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt!
“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
We are Justified by God’s grace, guaranteed — Rendered innocent or free by God’s Grace, eternal life guaranteed!
As you read this, I want you to have that Hope or guarantee personally. God offers you this by His Grace.
Just briefly, no one deserves to live in Heaven or have eternal life with the Righteous God (Revelation 21:27). We are all sinners by nature and deed. Simply put, we have all sinned and come short of the mark of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:23). All sin requires a payment that must be paid — and that penalty is spiritual death, being apart from God in Hell (Romans 4:23).
By God’s Grace and Love He provided a Sin Bearer in the person of Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, who was crucified for our sin, was buried and rose again. This Grace is available to the whole world — including you personally (John 3:16). It is not determined by how good you are — or how hard you try — or by your good works, but by Grace alone, which means “undeserved mercy.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
How can we KNOW that Hope is real?
1 John 5:13
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
You can KNOW. God promises Heaven, the Hope (guarantee) of eternal life is when you trust that Jesus paid the death penalty for sin in your place. He promises — and all you need do is to trust Jesus as your Savior. Believe His Word — He died for you.
If you have never trusted Jesus alone as your Savior, do that right now. Believe His promises of eternal life which are yours the very moment you trust Jesus as YOUR Savior.
Remember and believe this:
Jesus died — That is history. Jesus died for ME — that is salvation.
When you make that simple decision, your eternity in Heaven is secure in Jesus Christ. It is God’s guarantee, thus your HOPE of Heaven is guaranteed eternal. You are immediately declared righteous before a Holy God with no possibility of losing His Gift of salvation. Eternal life is ETERNAL — without end, beginning the moment you trust Christ as your personal Savior.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [gentile].”
Please, trust Jesus Christ as your Savior NOW! God has no strings attached! Claim that wonderful gift of HOPE.