Hope, An Anchor in Times of Trouble … and At All Times
A Study Outline
I. It has been said that a person can live a month without food, a week without water, and five minutes without air … but he cannot live a moment without hope.
II. God places a great emphasis on hope; it is ranked along with faith and love in I Corinthians 13:13: “And now abides faith, hope, and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”
III. What is hope?
A. Old Testament. Several Hebrew words:
1. Tiqvah (Strong 8615). “A cord, figuratively expectancy”; from Strong 6960 = qavah, to bind together”. The word stresses the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude … a forward look with assurance.
2. Miqveh (Strong 4723). “Something wished for, i.e. confidence, a collection …”; from Strong 6960 = qavah (see point 1 above).
3. Yachal Strong 3176). “To wait, by implication to be patient, to hope.”
4. Seber (Strong 7664). “Expectation”; from Strong 7663 = sabar, “to scrutinize, by implication (of watching) to expect (with hope and patience).”
5. Towcheleth (Strong 8431. “Expectation”; from Strong 3176 = yachol (see point 3 above).
B. New Testament. Only two closely-related Greek words:
1. Elpis (Strong 1680). “To anticipate (usually with pleasure), expectation, or confidence.” It is a noun, which, according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, means “favorable and confident expectation, a forward look with assurance.”
a. It has to do with the unseen and the future (Romans 8:24-25).
b. It anticipates good (I Peter 1:21).
c. God is spoken as the author of it (Romans 15:13).
d. It is a factor in endurance (Romans 8:24), especially endurance under trial (I Thessalonians 1:3).
e. It is an anchor to the soul, staying it in the midst of the storms of this life (Hebrews 6:18-19).
f. It is a purifying power (I John 3:3).
2. Elipizo (Strong 1679). This is the verb form of point 1 above.
IV. Hope is very closely related to faith (Strong 4102 = pistis, “conviction of the truth of anything”). This faith implies the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, and the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ.
A. Faith is also forward-looking, as is hope: “Now faith is the substance [confidence] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
B. Thus, it is impossible to speak of hope without addressing faith along with it, and love as well (I Corinthians 13:13).
V. What is this hope of Israel that our heavenly Father talks about so much?
A. Acts 28:20. “For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you; because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”
B. This hope is eternal life in the spirit realm, in the Kingdom of God!
1. Colossians 1:5. “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;” Our Father has prepared responsibilities for us in the spirit realm (John 14:2).
2. Colossians 1:26-27. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus ….” Without the spirit of God in you, you are none of His (Romans 8:9).
3. I Corinthians 15:51-52. “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
4. I Thessalonians 4:14-17. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
5. I Thessalonians 5:8-9. “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
6. Titus 1:2. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began ….”
7. Titus 3:7. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
C. As brothers of Jesus Christ we will be raised to meet Jesus Christ in the clouds of angels and other heavenly beings at the last trumpet (Revelation 11:15): Jesus Christ is the “… firstborn among many brethren …,” and we will be like Him (Romans 8:29).
D. We are destined to sit on the Father’s very throne, at His right hand where Jesus Christ now is (Psalm 132:12; Revelation 3:21), and our rulership will be with Him on the earth (Revelation 5:10).
E. This mystery, this hope, is not known among the gentiles, but only to the Father’s elect (see Colossians 1:27 above).
F. Our hope is for immortality, and rulership over the nations,a hope for the future that the Eternal God has promised all of us! It is the purpose for which we were born (Romans 8:29-30).
G. This hope of a brilliant future is given to us by the power of the holy spirit within us, and thus is a gift like faith and love.
VI. What then is the hope we as Christians have?
A. In this life …
1. Deliverance from many trials, tests, and persecutions
John 15:20. “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”
Psalm 34:17-20. “The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.”
I Corinthians 10:13. “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Psalm 91:3, 9-15. “Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, you habitation; There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under foot. Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
2. Peace, safety, security, and fearlessness within our own spirits
Philippians 4:7. “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 23:4. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Psalm 91:5-7. “You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”
3. The ability to stand up to the forces of evil and brutal people
Matthew 10:28. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
I Peter 3:13-14. “And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good? But and if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled ….”
4. Long life
Psalm 91:16. “With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
Proverbs 3:1-2. “My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to you.”
Exodus 20:12. “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
5. Always enough of the necessities of life
Psalm 37:25. “I have been young, and now an old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
I Peter 5:7. “Casting all your care upon him: for he cares for you.”
Hebrews 13:5. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have; for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
B. In the future spirit life …
1. Kingship and priesthood in the government of our Father and Jesus Christ
2. Eternal life
3. Joys and pleasures unending
Psalm 16:11. “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at they right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalm 36:8. “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; and you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasures.”
VII. People in this world think we are strange, and do not understand the hope that is within us. If history is any lesson, and as prophecy predicts, we will be hunted down for doing our Father’s will because Satan hates us (Psalm 37:12; Revelation 12:14-17). Today the forces of Antichrist — the Jewish media, the forces of Islam and other faiths, and others who hate Christ’s name — are getting stronger, but their efforts will be foiled: “The Lord shall laugh at him [the wicked who plots evil against just men], for He sees that his day is coming” (Psalm 37:13).
VIII. Realize that our hope cannot be compromised in any way. As a fruit of the spirit it will steady and anchor us, even to the time we enter the Holy of Holies where the Father dwells (Hebrews 6:11-20).
IX. We, of all people, should be optimistic and joyful because we understand the reality of the hope of becoming a king and a priest forever (Philippians 4:4), and we must put down any attitudes of our carnal nature that might cry out against this joy. Rather, we should tell others of this hope within us.
I Peter 3:15. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear ….”
X. When we have this hope we will purify ourselves (I John 3:3), since we will be motivated to please our heavenly Father and keep His commands, to please the One who will place us in the Kingdom of the heavenly. We will no longer be without hope as we were before our calling:
Ephesians 2:11-14. “Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 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: But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us ….”