Hope, like faith and love, its co-workers (1 Corinthians 13:13), is a dynamic force in the universe. It is too often the forgotten ingredient of the Christian experience. Hope is that certain and unfailing goal that God has set before His children. Exercised in our own hearts, it is the sure expectation of the fulfilment of that goal.
''Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead'' 1 Peter 1:3 (see also 1 Peter 3:15).



"For Abraham's eyes were looking forward to that city with solid foundations of which God himself is both architect and builder'' Hebrews 11:10 (Phillips).
It was because of hope - the vision of what was ahead - that Abraham was able to believe God through each trial of faith in his life (Romans 4:18). Without hope it is impossible to have true faith (see Hebrews 11:1; Colossians 1:23; Titus 1:2).


Esau, on the other hand, had no vision. He had no hope. He saw only his immediate need, and sold his eternal inheritance for a single meal (Hebrews 12:16-17).


Moses caught the vision. As the son of the King of Egypt's daughter, he could enjoy the greatest riches and pleasures this world can offer, but he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God - because he saw something beyond the immediate (Hebrews 11:24-27).

The Lord Jesus

Jesus had his eyes on a goal as he faced the torture of the Cross, and because of this hope, He was able to endure the suffering (Hebrews 12:2). The ''joy set before Him'' was the victory of the Cross and the Resurrection in bringing to birth a whole new creation of people - you and I who believe in Him.


"Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off every thing that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith" Hebrews 12:1-2 (Phillips).
Like runners in a long-distance race, we have our eyes fixed firmly on the finishing line, and we too can endure the hardships of life and the trials of faith to reach that goal.


In Ephesians 1:1,18, the Apostle Paul prays that the "faithful in Christ Jesus . . . may know the hope to which he has called (them) . . ." Paul expresses the desire of his own heart in Philippians 3:13-14:
'' . . . Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus''.
God has called His people to a heavenly position for a reason. His goal is our hope.


There are five major aspects of God's time-spanning plan that He is progressively revealing to and through His Church:
  1. We are being conformed to the image of Jesus
    (Romans 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2-3)
  2. We are the Body of Christ to express His glory on earth
    (Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:10-11; John 17:22-23; Isaiah 40:5)
  3. We are brothers with Christ
    (Hebrews 2:5-18)
  4. We are called to share His throne
    (Romans 8:17; Ephesians 1:18-23; 2:6-7; Colossians 2:9-10; Revelation 3:21)
  5. We are to be His bride
    (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-32; Revelation 19:7-8; 21:2; 22:17)


Since before the creation of the world (Titus 1:2; Revelation 13:8), God has had this plan and purpose for His Church. All history and prophecy, from Genesis through to Revelation, has been building up to its ultimate fulfilment. The Apostle Paul calls God's plan "the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints" Colossians 1:25-27 (see also Ephesians 3:1-6).


  1. Confidence and security (Job 11:18, 2 Corinthians 3:12).
  2. Joy (Proverbs 10:28; Romans 12:12).
  3. Faith (Galatians 5:5; Hebrews 11:1).
  4. Purity (1 John 3:2-3; Acts 24:15-16; 2 Peter 3:13-14).
  5. Strength (Psalm 31:24; Isaiah 40:28-31).
  6. Purpose for the trials of faith (Romans 5:2-5; 8:24-25; 1 Peter 1:3-7).
  7. Self-control (1 Peter 1:13).
  8. An anchor for the soul (Hebrews 6:18-19).
The desire which the Lord Himself has - that we know the hope that we've been called to - is expressed in the prayer of the Apostle Paul:
''May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope'' Romans 15:13 (Phillips) (see also Ephesians 1:17-21).


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