Hope is generally understood as wishful thinking. But hope in the Bible means something different- it implies ‘confident expectation.’
Hope is a solid assurance about things that are unknown and unclear (Hebrews 11, Romans 8: 24 to 25). It is a core component of the lives of the righteous persons. In fact, life totally loses meaning without hope.
The righteous who hope in God will receive his blessings. They shall not be disappointed, ashamed or confounded. They have confidence in help and protection of God and are not fearful or anxious.
The idea of hope in the New Testament is the fulfilment of promises in the Old Testament. Christian hope is grounded in the faith in Christ. In human terms, it is also a belief in the inherent goodness of other human beings.
Hope in Christ is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:23-25). It is also a belief in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6), redemption of the whole creation (Romans 8:23), eternal life (Titus 3:5), eternal glory (Colossians 1:27), Christ’s return (Titus 2: 11), change into Christ’s likeness (1 John 3) or in Christ (1 Timothy 1:1).
The belief in the blessed future is based on the blessing of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8) and resurrection of Christ (Acts 2: 26). Creation of hope is through endurance in suffering (Romans 5) and provides inspiration to endure (1 Thessalonians 1).
Those who have hope in Christ will experience the exaltation of Christ in life and death (Philippians 1:20). God gives us hope through his promises (Hebrews 6), and we may boast in this hope (Hebrews 3:6) and be bold in our faith (2 Corinthians 3). But those who cannot trust God are considered to be without hope (Ephesians 2: 12)
Faith, hope, and love are the essence of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 13:13) and love emanates from hope (Colossians 1). Through the Holy Spirit, peace and joy exist in believers because of hope.
Here are some inspiring verses in the New Testament about hope:
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11: 25 -26)”
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27).”
“I have said these things to you, that in me, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
“Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the Glory of God. Not only that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produce endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:25).”
“For in this hope, we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees (Romans 8:24)?”
“For the scripture says: Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame (Romans 10: 11).”
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12).”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).”
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).”
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).”
“If in Christ, we have hope in this life only, we are of all people, most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).”
“For through the spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness (Galatians 5:5).”
“… having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints ( Ephesians 1:18).”
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).”
“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet, the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8).”
“For to this end, we toil and strive because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the saviour of all people, especially of those who believe (1Timothy 4:10).”
“..but in your hearts, honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect( 1 Peter 3:15).”
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).”
Thus, the New Testament has two focal points: first and second comings of Christ. In the first advent, he inaugurated the blessings of the New Age; he will consummate them at the time of his return. This is the substance of the hope of Christians.
The gospel of John says that eternal life has been manifested to us in the form of Jesus Christ. The synoptic declares eternal life as future- it will be granted on the future day of resurrection. This does not mean John does not hope in the resurrection. He says eternal life will be a gift of the resurrection on the last day. Thus, the message of the Second Advent inspires hope.