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Hope is very often neglected among Christian virtues, and yet, according to the Bible, it is one of the big three - faith, hope and love.
Without hope, people are prey to discouragement, despondency and despair. With hope, they can face almost anything.
Hope has been defined as "a favourable and confident expectation", and is one of the three great Christian virtues.
Eph 2:11-13 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh; who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands; (12) that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Titus 3:7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Although anyone can experience hope, Christian hope is different because it is associated with eternal life and the knowledge of God.
1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
In many countries around the world, where there is relative safety and prosperity, Christians often fail to realise that the real reason that we hope in Christ is because of what He has secured for us in eternity.
Rom 5:3-5 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
2 Cor 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (18) while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Hope sustains us through the difficulties of life; it enables us to look beyond our immediate experiences and focus on eternal issues.
1 Thess 5:8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
We hope for salvation.
Let's go back to our original definition of hope: "a favourable and confident expectation."
This means that our hope for salvation is not just wishful thinking, but a confident expectation.
1 Pet 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.
We hope for an eternal inheritance.
Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
We hope for righteousness.
Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
We hope for eternal life.
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,
We hope for the return of Christ.
1 Pet 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
We hope in the grace of God.
1 Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
Ultimately, Christ Himself is our hope.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.
Hope gives us full assurance.
Heb 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
Hope anchors the soul.
Rom 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Hope comes through the Scriptures.
If you like these Topical Bible Studies, don't forget to check out our Expository Bible Studies too.