HOPE, another Look
The word “hope” in the Old Testament conveys a couple of different meanings, depending on the Hebrew word from which it is translated. The Hebrew word yachal primarily conveys “to patiently wait;” whereas the Hebrew words tiqvah and towcheleth convey an “expectation.”
In the New Testament there are two words translated “hope.” Seven of approximately fifty-eight passages utilize the Greek word elpizo [the verb form of elpis (a noun)], while the majority of passages utilize elpis. Both primarily convey a “favorable and confident expectation, an eager anticipation of looking forward with assurance.”
A careful examination of the New Testament reveals that Christians are subject to and enjoy a distinct “hope,” to which they should eagerly, favorably, and confidently look forward to; and, should they do this, it will most favorably influence their lives to the saving of their souls (please see the first study pertaining to “hope” on www.bibleone.net regarding this issue).
It is mystifying how anyone is able to serenely enjoy life without a proper relationship with the Creator of the Universe, without the assurance of eternal life in accordance with His Word. Of course, this doesn’t appear to be such a factor with the young, primarily due to the absence of evidence that life will end, i.e., they see only their growth, not the awareness of an impending termination of temporal life, which increasingly becomes significant as one grows older. Along with the accompanying loss of vitality coupled with an increase in various physical frailties, such awakens an individual to the reality that his life, as he has known it, will soon come to an end.
With a biblical-based hope, this reality can be a most welcomed event, one that is favorably and confidently expected, eagerly anticipated. But without such a hope, only fear and anxiety can dominate. It is both natural and universal “to want to live.” Death, if associated with the unknown, is always distressing.
I think of the atheist, one who believes that there is no God, who believes that all that exists essentially came from “nothing.” As I view all that is around me, from the microscopic particles composing all matter to the enormity of the Universe, with all the complexity, sophistication, interdependent structure, and organization that rules this vast array of existence, I often feel it would take more “faith” to believe that all of this sprang from “nothing,” than to understand it is the product of Intelligence and Design. Simply examining a watch (time piece), with all its symbiotic parts, knowing that it only could have been created by a designer, should be enough to convert any atheist.
One thing the atheist, the agnostic and the non-Christian have in common — they all have “nothing” to look forward to upon their death. Their future of nonexistence is empty, without any favorable and confident expectation. They walk this world knowing for certain that this is all they have, a life without hope of any further existence.
On the other hand, the believer in Jesus Christ, the one who has “passed from death to life” (John 5:24; Acts 16:30, 31; Ephesians 2:1, 8, 9), may avail himself of a very uplifting, exhilarating, and stimulating hope, spoken of throughout Scripture, but more predominantly in the New Testament.
Following is a compilation of a few passages mentioning hope within the Old Testament, followed by mostly the same within the New Testament. One who studies these various passages, as they fit within God’s comprehensive plan of redemption for man throughout the entirety of the New Testament, will come to the realization that the Christian’s future hope is somewhat diverse and qualified, as follows:
1) The one who has been saved through faith in Christ (i.e., the salvation of his spirit), but who fails to realize, pursue, and realize the salvation of his soul (culminating at the Judgment Seat of Christ), will not be able to experience the full scope of the hope intended for him, which is to say that he will not be able to co-reign as a coheir with Christ throughout His coming millennial (1,000 year) reign over this earth; though he will regain stature upon the conclusion of the Messianic Era and throughout the eternal ages that follow.
2) On the other hand, the Christian who by faithfulness to Christ in this lifetime achieves the salvation of his soul will experience the full measure of the hope that awaits him, as a co-reigning coheir with Christ during the Millennium, and throughout the eternal ages that follow.
To adequately understand and appreciate all that is promised and is to come, please avail yourself of the following, which may be obtained at links on the homepage of the website www.bibleone.net : the books/studies:
Salvation of the Soul by Arlen L. Chitwood
Let Us Go On by Arlen L. Chitwood
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, (19) to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. (20) Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. (21) For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. (22) Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.
Psalm 119:81a, 114a, 116
KAPH. My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your Word. . . . (114) You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. . . . (116) Uphold me according to Your Word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I do hope.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.
The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.
When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”
I [Paul] have hope in God . . . that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
Romans 5:1, 2
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (19) For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; (21) because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (23) Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (24) For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? (25) But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Romans 12:10a, 12a
Be . . . rejoicing in hope . . . .
Romans 15:4, 13
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. . . . (13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 15:19, 22, 23
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. . . . (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (23) But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
[I] do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: (17) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, (18) the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saint.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.
According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed. . . .
Colossians 1:5, 23, 27
Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. . . . (23) if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. . . . (27) To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
1 Thessalonians 2:19
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 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.
1 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.
In hope of eternal life . . . .
Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, (18) that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul . . . .
1 Peter 1:3-5, 13
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, (5) who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. . . . (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.
1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
1 John 3:2, 3
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.