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Wednesdays Word // HOPE

I wonder what comes to mind when you hear the word hope?

How would you explain it to someone?

Well, The Cambridge Dictionary definition for hope is: to want something to happen or to be true, and usually have a good reason to think that it might.

When I read this I thought to myself, 'Well that doesn't feel particularly comforting. Just because you want something to happen doesn't mean that it will, and yes It makes sense, but when we walk about it in the Christian sense, or when it's mentioned in the Bible it seems far more reliable and encouraging.'

Well I went digging a little, and have come to realise that the key difference with Christian hope is that it's used in a way that expresses that we are believing something that will happen, not something that might.

Pope Francis talking about hope says this,

'Christian hope is anticipating something already completed.'

'Christian hope is to have the certainty that I am on my journey towards something that is, not something I would like to be there.'

Living life with the version of hope that the dictionary defines I believe is always going to keep us in a constant state of uncertainty and most likely leave us exhausted.

However, this biblical understanding of hope boasts something greater, it gives the word a whole different meaning.

See, we hope in the promises of God, and as you read through the Bible you can see that God's promises are fulfilled. The Old Testament is constantly pointing to Jesus. It's full of prophecies about him that he brings to fulfilment as you read the New Testament. From the place that Jesus would be born (OT-Micah 5:2, NT-Matthew 2:1), to his resurrection (OT-Psalm 16:10, NT-Matthew 28:2-7).

Above all, we have an assurance through His death and resurrection, that all God's promises are yes and Amen, just as it says in 2 Corinthians 1:20.

What a hope that is.

1 Corinthians 6:14 tells us,

'God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.'

Romans 5:3-5 says that,

'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.'

What happened on the cross when Jesus died allows us to have this hope that will not lead to disappointment. That although we one day will die, we will be raised to life, just as Christ has been.

'I pray that God, the source of hope will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.' Romans 15:13

'I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.' Ephesians 1:18

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