In the previous post, we looked at what the writers of the Bible meant when they used the word “hope”. Hope in the Bible is not just wishful thinking; it is a future certainty based on the promises and character of our faithful promise-keeping God!
Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. -Romans 5:5
Here in Romans 5:5, Paul links our hope not to vain wishing, but to a trustworthy object: the Spirit of God! And note where we can find this great Gift, Who is the very Source of our hope: hidden in some far-off and mysterious place? No – God has poured His Spirit “into our hearts”!
In 2 Corinthians (another one of Paul’s letters), Paul beautifully describes the vital connection between our future hope and God’s Spirit present in our hearts today:
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. -2 Corinthians 1:20-22
Every single promise God has made is “Yes!” in Christ! How do we know? How can we be sure? Because God has put His own Spirit in our hearts as a deposit to guarantee what is to come!
In America, if you want to buy something really big and expensive – a piece of land,or a house, or a business, or a brand-new car – you have to make a “down payment”. This is usually 10-20% of the total purchase price of the thing you are buying. This down payment is your guarantee that the seller can expect to receive your full payment. By giving a deposit, you are saying, “I will keep my word to pay the fully agreed-upon amount for this item, on time.”
Look at the “down payment” that God gives us as our guarantee that He will fulfill our future hope in Him: Himself! His own Spirit! In America, you also typically forfeit your deposit if you do not come through with your total payment according to the terms of your agreement. God wants us to be so certain of our future hope in Him, that He risks forfeiting His own Spirit to us if He does not “come through” on His promises!
Can God’s commitment to His promises get any better than that? YES! They can and DO! In my next post, I’ll explore the depths of the promises He has made to us, His unrelenting commitment in keeping them, and the absolute assurance we can have in our future because of Him!
Ask the Lord to teach you the real, Biblical meaning of the word “hope”… What words, phrases, ideas, and/or questions come into your mind and heart when you start to think about hope in this Biblical way?