What does it mean to have hope amid trying times? Hope is more than a feeling; it isn’t simply being perpetually optimistic or having a “hopeful” attitude. Scripture offers us an understanding of hope that is much more robust. Christian hope has heft, endurance, and purpose—and God is its source.
God, “in his great mercy … has given us new birth into a living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3). And it is our “God of hope” who enables us to “overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13). This reality isn’t true only in good times; in fact, it is in dark and difficult times when hope truly shows its mettle.
As Jay Y. Kim writes in “Hope: An Expectant Leap,”
This is what Christian hope looks like. It doesn’t ignore fear, anxiety, and doubt; it confronts them. It holds steady, clinging to peace in the midst of chaos. Through life’s many treacherous storms … Christian hope is buoyed by something greater that has happened and something greater that is going to happen again.
This weekly devotional series explores the theme of hope as it weaves throughout the biblical story. In these daily biblical reflections, we focus on our hope in Christ’s future coming—the Second Advent we await that gives us endurance, confidence, and joy in our daily lives, no matter what difficulties we might face (week 1). We reflect on the hope of God’s people in the Old Testament as they relied upon God in hardship and we look at prophecies of hope that pointed toward the First Advent: the coming of the Messiah (week 2). We contemplate the miracle of hope breaking through in the Incarnation, when “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14)—as a human baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger (week 3 and week 4).
This is our “living hope” or, as the New Living Translation puts it, our “great expectation.” Our hope is animated by our confident expectation that the child who was born will one day come again in glory to put all wrong things right, and his kingdom will have no end.