My husband and I took a trip to Mystic, Connecticut while visiting our daughter who lives out east. The minute I saw this enormous anchor, I knew it would someday fit in with a blog post. Not long after, I read this Hebrews verse: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (6:19 NIV) I love this visual reminder of how hope anchors my soul to Him!
Just as a ship’s anchor holds firmly to the bottom of the sea, our hope in God is just as immovable.
Christian Definition of Hope
A Christian’s definition of hope differs from the hope we have when we want something to go our way, i.e., “I’m hoping for the best”, or “I hope you’re feeling better” or “I hope the Vikings win” (sorry, couldn’t resist….) That kind of hope is only expectation and desire.
A Christian’s hope is different. We have hope because we can confidently expect God to do what He has promised. The strength of our hope is not from desire, but in His faithfulness throughout generations!
Our hope is also a gift of the Holy Spirit by His power within us. I had never thought of hope as a gift until I read this verse from Paul in Romans 15:13 NIV- “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I love this verse! God is our source of hope. As we trust in Him, he fills us with the gift of joy and peace. Then we “overflow” with hope by the gift and power of the Holy Spirit, to the point that we radiate it out to others.
Bible Verses on Hope
Abraham Hoped Against Hope
The first thing that comes to my mind in the OT regarding hope is Abraham. He had hope in the promises God made to him- that He would make him into a great nation and that he would be a blessing to others. He waited in hope (with some questionable decisions in the waiting…) for the birth of his son Isaac. Paul tells us in Romans 4:18, NIV- “Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him.”
How does your hope in God’s promises affect your decision making and obedience?
Jeremiah- Hope and A Future
In Jeremiah 14:22, with God’s people suffering from a series of droughts, Jeremiah asks God to remember his covenant with his people and says “Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in you.” They trusted the promises of God. They were 100% sure in their hope that was rooted in God, even though their behavior had not honored Him.
God forgives the repentant sinner. Don’t let past sins cause you to ever lose hope. God wants to bless you!
In Psalm 25: 2-3, NIV, David prays to God- “In you, I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.” Troubled by his enemies, David lifts this confident prayer of surrender and hope.
Our biggest enemy is Satan. We can lift up this same prayer in confident hope when we face temptations.
Paul on Hope
The Old Testament emphasizes hope as trust in God and his promises. In the New Testament, Paul expands on that truth with Jesus Christ as our hope. In the introduction Paul gives in Titus 1:2, NIV, Paul describes himself as having “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life.” Colossians 1:27 speaks about “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
When God sent Jesus to earth, he was fulfilling His promises- to make a way for us to fully live again with God as He intended.
While we wait in hope for our eternal life in heaven, how does that hope impact our daily lives right now? How can we put it to use TODAY?
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Hope is Important
Our Christian hope can work in our lives every single day. (It might not be something we focus on very often, but maybe we should make it more of a priority?) It can give us security in our day to day lives that nothing else here on earth can give- “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” –Hebrews 6:19, NIV.
Just as an anchor firmly holds a ship in place, our hope can anchor us to God as well.
Benefits of Hope
Our hope can keep us going through the hard times that inevitably come our way. In those times, instead of hoping for the outcome we want, or in the timing that works best for us, we can trust that in those hard times, God hasn’t left our side, and His plans and timing are perfect. He wants us anchored firmly to him.
“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.” Romans 5:3-5, NLT
The “rejoice” in this verse isn’t the jumping up and down, yippee! kind of “rejoice”. Suffering and hard times come to every single person on this planet. Not one of us is immune. Our hope, however, gives us a tiny glimpse of God’s perspective in those moments. He can use them to develop our character, so are trials are never wasted.
Our suffering can have a constructive purpose, not be just a crushing defeat or a useless test in our lives.
Here is another dimension to living out our hope. Paul greets the Colossians this way: “We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all God’s people because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven.” -Colossians 1:4-5, CEV.
With our hope secure, we are free to live out our faith and show God’s love to all.
Our Living Hope
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV.
Believing in Jesus as our Savior causes us to be born again into a living hope. Jesus conquered death for us and we can look forward to eternal life with Him. Our living hope is an inheritance that can never be taken from us or fade away- it is reserved for us in heaven. We have an indestructible living hope!
Hope and Confidence
Hope anchors my soul to God. It gives me assurance and peace that even though I don’t understand everything today, I can be confident that my life has an eternal purpose.
Our hope gives us the tools to live on earth with an eye on heaven. Stay firmly anchored in God and His promises, and even though your ship may bob around in the waters, you can feel secure and confident in what the future holds.
Blessings of Hope!
Photo Credit: AnnMarie Anderson
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
Photo Credit: AnnMarie Anderson