We most often speak the word in place of "desire" or "want". We hope traffic is light. We hope to visit family this summer. We hope the medical report is favorable. We hope for a miracle.
These secondary hopes, whether light or desperate desires, are often not much more than wishes. So often we long for good things–things we certainly can ask God for and things He may generously give to His children--but unlike true biblical hope, many of our longings are not certainties.
Biblical hope is much deeper than simply wishing for something. Biblical hope is confident and sure. It knows the promise we place our hope in will come to fruition in God’s timing. This hope displays faith that God will certainly fulfill everything He has promised and that He is faithful. Biblical Hope is confident in both the word and the character of God.
As I was preparing to teach on 1 Peter 1:3-9, a passage that so beautifully describes our Living Hope, I was struck by the Green word for Hope often used throughout scripture: Elpis.
Elpis is expectation of what is sure or certain. For the believer, hope or elpis is a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.
When we reflect on our Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3-9), may we remember that we do not simply wish that Christ will come again and make all things new, without knowing if He will. May we remember that we do not simply wish to be born again into a new family and given a new heart and a new identity. May we remember that we do not simply wish for complete restoration. The Hope we hold is a done deal--finished completely through the saving work of Jesus. Our Living Hope is secure. We may not receive ever lesser "hope" we desire, but we can be certain God will fulfill every promise given to us in scripture. And that is a more precious gift than we can imagine.