SUNDAY 09 DECEMBER // The true meaning of ‘hope’
Welcome to the week of hope. When you think about hope what first comes to mind? How does the word make you feel?
This week we explore what true hope looks like and what we are invited into. Let’s start by watching a video from the Bible Project which gives us a great overview of the biblical concept of hope…
In Hebrew, hope is about waiting or expectation. Qavah described the feeling of tension and expectation while you wait for something to happen.
All through the Old Testament what people are waiting for is God himself. Biblical hope is based on a person, which is what makes it different from optimism. Optimism is about choosing to see, in any situation how circumstances could work out for the best, but biblical hope is not focused on circumstances. For the people in the bible often there is no evidence things will get better, but they choose hope anyway. They trust in God’s past faithfulness as motivation for their hope for the future. If God could redeem the Israelites back in the days of the Exodus, he could do so again.
In the New Testament Jesus’ followers also cultivated this similar habit of hope. The apostles believed that what happened to Jesus (His life, death and resurrection) was a foretaste of what God had planned for the whole universe. So Christian hope is bold, waiting for humanity and the whole universe to be rescued from evil and death.
Biblical hope isn’t optimism based on odds; it’s a choice to wait for God to bring about a future that’s as surprising as a crucified man rising from the dead. Christian hope looks back to the risen Jesus in order to look forward, so we wait.
Read: Romans 8:24-25
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Pray: Thank God for the hope we are given through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Ask God to help you maintain hope in your seasons of waiting.
Respond: On your Advent calendar colour in today’s bauble, you might also like to include what ‘hope’ means to you, a scripture reference. or note what stood out to you about the true meaning of hope.