Hope

What does hope mean to you?  This is something I’ve been thinking about and would love your comments.

There are two distinct kinds of hope, hope that is based on an axiom and hope that is not.  These are fundamentally different kinds of hope.  What makes something an axiom (with regard to hope at least) is that it allows no possibility for an alternative outcome.  The hope is thus not a hope dependent on both a time of fulfilment and a possibility of fulfilment, but is only dependent on the timing.  This is not quite enough however as the timing must be bound so that the event that completes the hope occurs at a time consistent with meeting the expectations of the hope itself.

Hope based on an axiom, allowing no possibility for an alternative outcome nor a delay that fails to fulfil the expectations of the hope, is certain to be fulfilled.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Romans 5:5, NIV]

This is Christian hope.  A hope that is certain, that does not disappoint.  Why?  Because Christian hope is based on two things:

  1. The character of God described in Scripture and displayed majestically and perfectly in the person of Jesus Christ
  2. The promises of God in Scripture, applied by His Holy Spirit to us

Christian hope is particular, it is not a general hope for a good day or for a particular outcome in some plan or project.  No.  Christian hope is the expectation of God’s ultimate rule, reign and redemption of Creation itself.  That is also good for the individual like you and me once you realise that:

[If] God is for us, who can be against us? [Romans 8:31, NIV, Paul intends the “if” to be rhetorical]

The surety of Christian hope is the bedrock for Christian joy, distinct from happiness which is derived from the word “hap” meaning “chance”.

Pray for those whose hope is based on chance alone.

About these ads

3 thoughts on “Hope

  1. Abigail Cantrell

    For the author only:
    the first sentence copied below (in context so you can find it quickly), made me go ??????.

    “This is not quite enough however as the timing must be bound so that the event that completes the hope occurs at a time consistent with meeting the expectations of the hope itself.

    Hope based on an axiom, allowing no possibility for an alternative outcome nor a delay that fails to fulfil the expectations of the hope, is certain to be fulfilled.

    And hope does not disappoint us,…[Romans 5:5, NIV]”

    If you want another writer’s 2 cents, or tuppence, or whatever…
    Did you mean “This is not a complete definition, however. The timing of the fullfilment must be constrained in such a way that the event hoped for occurs at a time consistent with meeting the expectations of the hope itself.”

    Ok, still not sure I understand the last phrase. So that the hope is fulfilled in time to prevent disapointment and despair? so that the event hoped for comes at a time consistent with the expectations of hope? Maybe that last one is the closest, with slightly less ambiguous grammar. the first one is more concrete and less theological.

    Hope I can talk virtually with you more. Your blog is really inspiring, and if it’s OK with you I’d like to put a link to it on my Facebook blog and my Myspace page and… you get the idea. :)

    Best Regards,
    Abigail E. Cantrell

    Reply
    1. Steve Horsfield Post author

      Sorry for the confusion!

      A hope anticipates a future event or scenario. What I meant by the wording was simply that this event or scenario must be achieved at a time consistent with the expectations of the person who had the hope. So it may be in their lifetime or at a future known event (such as death or judgement) and this time may be a long way in the future. But crucially, the timing must not compromise the hope. This is similar to your suggestions. The key distinction I might make is that the timing is intrinsic to the hope, rather than a separate desire of the person hoping.

      For example, suppose the hope was that “one’s children live in a safe and free democratic country” where currently the country was governed by a brutal dictator. There are two parts to this hope: a) the introduction of a new (benevolent) government; b) the survival of the children into this period. The survival of the children may be dependent on the timing of the change of government and so the timing of the event hoped for (a change of government) is a significant part of the hope itself.

      The point is that most of our hopes have an underlying timing aspect that is not generally spoken directly. My intention was to raise the awareness of this aspect of hope.

      Thanks for your comments and feel free to link the blog. Note that you can link the whole blog or just those categories (or tags) that interest you.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s