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:
- The character of God described in Scripture and displayed majestically and perfectly in the person of Jesus Christ
- 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.