An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
(Romans 8:24-25)

Biblical terms sometimes take on new popular meanings. Faith is a good example of this. Whereas the world sees faith as something antagonistic to reason, a senseless, groundless leap into the dark, the Bible sees faith as something different entirely. The Bible uses the Greek term (pistis) in its truest, deepest, and multi-faceted sense. According to the proper lexical use of the term, the Bible sees faith as belief in that which we have become convinced of. Moreover, faith is more than intellectual assent to certain propositions; faith is active trust. The miracles of Jesus, for instance, were calculated to convince people to trust in Christ for salvation (John 4:48-53; 7:31; 10:38; 11:45; 12:11). Hope is another misunderstood term. Today many see hope as wishing for something that may or may not happen. This kind of hope has no certainty attached to it, only anxiousness and suspense. The biblical term (elpis) and its cognate forms indicate anticipation and expectation. Hoping, in the biblical sense, is not wishing for something that is doubtful, but fully anticipating that which is certain to occur. The Christian understands that God alone can, and does, ground and account for this kind of certainty. What He declares concerning the future blessed state of His redeemed is certain to occur; we ought to have no doubt about it. God’s love towards us came to fullest expression in His grace. “Wherefore remember,” wrote the great apostle, “that ye 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 ye 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 ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13). Once we were without God and without hope, but God by His grace has changed all that. Now we are called to live every moment with the full expectation that God will make good on every precious promise He has ever made to us. He Who promised such things is faithful (Hebrews 10:23) therefore we ought to spend our lives abounding in hope (Romans 15:13). Even as our earthly existence draws to a close one day, we have every reason to die in hope even as the patriarchs did (Hebrews 11:8-13). David followed their godly example, singing, “My heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Psalm 16:9). At the end of his amazing life, Paul had confidence that God would provide for him, even beyond the grave (2 Timothy 4:17-18). May those of us who rejoice in hope (Romans 12:12) also strive to walk in godliness and purity “even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).

God bless,

pastor john