“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 ESV
Tragedy is commonplace. Recent hurricanes devastated communities in Texas and Florida. Wildfires in California destroyed homes, causing thousands to evacuate. One October night in Las Vegas a lone gunman opened fire on concertgoers, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. People are tranquilized with trouble, overdosed with difficulty, and suicidal with sorrow, which causes them to cry out like the philosopher Schopenhauer, “Life is an endless pain with a painful end.” It seems that no one and no place is exempt from tragedy and misfortune. It is no wonder people are hopeless.
Hope is Available
“So now faith, hope, and love abide…” 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
With all the trouble in the world, hope is available to all. What is hope? It is not wishful thinking. Neither is it looking on the bright side. Real hope goes deeper than just “on the surface level optimism.” The hope that brings joy and peace to a person’s life is a biblical hope rooted in the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, biblical hope is a confident expectation desiring something good to happen in the future and an expectation that it will happen. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Therefore, hope is faith in the future tense. Whenever faith has a reference to the future, you can call the confidence in it hope.
God is the Source of Hope
Because of modern technological devices, medical advances, and the brilliant minds of people, many have a tendency to look to manmade solutions to solve their problems and the issues of life. However, genuine hope comes from God. God is the source of hope. Man cannot manufacture hope. Romans 15:13 states, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing…” God says, “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” God is the God of hope. He has the power to change lives.
A Living Hope
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV
The biblical hope is very different from a natural worldly hope. The Christian’s hope is a living hope, not a dead one. Jesus died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried, and he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures. This is an eternal hope that is available in this life and in the life to come to those who believe. During times of pain and uncertainties of life, a living hope is available to all. Jesus is our hope!
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Dr. James D. Noble is Assistant Professor of Practical Ministry at Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University. He is married to Redunda Noble and they have two sons and a daughter. Dr. Noble attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, TN where he earned both a Master of Divinity Degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Dr. Noble has served as a pastor, associate pastor, church launch team member, and Vice President of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.