Hope is an interesting word … especially in the Bible. How our culture thinks of “hope” is often not the way the Bible uses it.
Today we say, “I hope the Cowboys win,” or, “I hope we get some rain,” meaning maybe they will or maybe they won’t win or it may or may not rain. In the Bible, this word always is seen in the context of certainty. It does not mean “maybe yes or maybe no.”
This certainty is true, but it cannot be seen. Scripture tells us that something is not “hope” if it is seen. Once something becomes “seen,” I don’t hope for it—I have it.
Look at Paul’s reasoning:
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?” —Romans 8:24
In Romans 4:18, when talking about God’s promise to Abraham to have a son we find a “play on words” about hope when God gave Abraham this promise:
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations …”
Despite a hopeless situation, Abraham embraced God’s certainty. He knew that he could believe and trust that God’s promise would be fulfilled.
We are told in Hebrews 11:1 what faith is:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
I believe when we live with Christ-like confidence, it’s because we have a deep conviction that what is said in Scripture is certain. When we come to that point, we will step into whatever situation God has placed us in knowing that, because of God’s word, I can be certain it will happen. I will step into it being confident that His Presence is real and certain—even though I cannot see Him or feel Him.
When you and I step into a circumstance that may be difficult, God is there. Even though I may be trembling with fear, I can always count on the “Jesus Factor.”
The Holy Spirit wants to work through us. We have to step into the place of certainty with God—even when the situation looks hopeless. Let’s take a look at what that means.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:12 …
“Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech.”
Our hope gives us boldness. Remember, we walk by faith not by sight. All of Scripture is applied by faith. When the Scripture says, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” I can live with certainty (Deuteronomy 31:6). Wherever I am, my “hope” is that God is with me … even though I cannot see Him.
An overriding principle of this life of faith is found in the following statement: “Only what I do, really tells me what I believe.”
I can say I believe something about the sufficiency of God’s power and presence in my life, but if I don’t step into the ring to fight for my faith in light of this truth, I don’t really believe it. I have to combine my hope in God with the boldness Paul speaks of.
The “Jesus Factor” can only happen if we go public with Jesus. It is only then that we can experience the blessing that God desires for us. If you don’t, your “hope” is not biblical hope … and your “faith” is not biblical faith.