“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13
Does anyone here need hope? Why do we need hope? What do we hope in? How do we get hope? What is hope? Does hope help? How does it help? Is it tangible? Can I touch it? Or is it just in my head? Is hope important and if I don’t hope, am I sinning?
What is hope?
The Greek meaning of the word “hope” (Elpis) in this verse is “desire of some good with expectation of obtaining it”.
Do you have a desire tonight of something good? Do you expect to obtain it? If you don’t expect to obtain it then it’s not hope according to the Bible but hope according to the world. “I hope to pass my studies but I’m not confident I will and I’m even sure I will fail” is not hope according to the Bible. Hope according to the Bible is being 100% sure it will happen.
So how do I get that kind of hope where I am expecting to obtain it? Sometimes I’m expecting to obtain something and I still don’t, so what happened? Did I not have enough faith?
I can think of times when I had no hope and yet I obtained something very good and other times when I had hope and was confident and really expected something to happen and it didn’t. So…why? As we go on, we will discover why.
Why do we need hope?
1. Hope gives faith - “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)
2. Hope is a command - Love hopes (1 Corinthians 13:7)
We need hope because the greatest commandment is to love God and then your neighbour so if you don’t have hope, you don’t love and if you don’t love, you are against God’s command. Therefore hope is a command.
3. Hope is necessary to please God - The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6) and without hope, can’t have faith and therefore without hope, can’t please God. Therefore hope is necessary to please God.
Faith, love and hope (1 Cor 13:13) Hope gives us faith, so without hope we can’t have faith and without hope we do not love….therefore need hope to have both faith and love. Also need to have faith and love in order to have hope. The three go together.
4. God’s eyes are on those that hope - “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” (Psalm 33:17-19)
5. God delights in those who hope - “the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love”.(Psalm 147:10-12)
What do we hope in?
1. God Himself - in this verse, we read that God Himself is hope. We can hope in Jesus because the Bible says He never changes, He is the same yesterday and forever and He is totally trust worthy. So, when we need hope, we can hope in God Himself and depend completely on Him.
The Greek meaning of the word Elpis in this verse also means, “Trust and confidence in someone…confidence, security”. We can have trust and confidence in Jesus Himself and He is the one who provides the confidence and security.
So, for example, one time I was 100% sure I would not get sea sick because I had faith and I was confident and I expected that I wouldn’t and yet I got sea sick. I didn’t lack hope….I had enough hope I wouldn’t get sea sick because I truly expected that I wouldn’t. The problem is, I hoped in the wrong thing. I should hope in Jesus Christ that no matter what happens, I will trust Him to keep me secure. If I hope that I don’t get sea sick and then I do, I might be discouraged and think I didn’t have enough faith but the Bible says that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed which is really tiny so we all have enough faith. It’s not about faith….it’s about God. That is why the verse says to trust in Him. Don’t trust in yourself or the amount of faith you have, just trust in God and trust Him no matter what happens, He knows what He is doing. Hope only in Jesus, not in material things.
“Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:22-24)
Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful”.
We have to know what to hope in. When we hope for material things or people, we will only be disappointed but when we hope in Jesus, we will never be disappointed.
We can hope that God will never leave us or forsake us because that is His promise and he is faithful to keep His promises.
2. We can hope that He will come back one day and take us to be with Him in Heaven. “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming”. (1 Peter 1:12-14)
3. We can hope in His protection - “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield”. (Psalm 33:19-21)
4. We can have hope on the promises in His Word. “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word”. (Psalm 119:113-115)
5. We can hope in God’s calling and His inheritance – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)
6. We can hope in the gospel “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel”. Colossians 1:23
7. We can hope in Christ who is in us – “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. (Colossians 1:26-28)
8. Hope in eternal life – “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.” (Titus 1:1-3)
9. We can hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 33:17-19 &147:10-12)
So this is the answer to why I sometimes obtain what I didn’t hope for and why sometimes I don’t obtain what I was sure that I would. It’s because I’m hoping in the wrong things. Our hope must be in the things that we can be confident and sure of….our hope must be in Jesus Christ, in His word, in the gospel, in eternal life, in the fact that Christ is in us, in His inheritance, in His protection, in His promises, in knowing that He is coming back for us and in His unfailing love for us. These things we can hope in, these are the things we can trust in and expect to obtain. If we hope in these things, we will never be disappointed.
What is the purpose of hope?
1. To share with others – “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:14-16)
2. To strengthen us in faith – “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD”(Psalm 31:23-24) and “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
3. Gives joy – “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. (Romans 12:11-13)
4. Gives peace – Romans 15:13 (the verse we are reading)
5. Gives boldness , especially to be witnesses of Jesus – “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold”. (2 Corinthians 3:11-13)
6. For God’s glory – “in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-13)
7. Inspires us to endure – “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-4)
8. Salvation – “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet”. (1 Thessalonians 5:7-9)
9. Encourage us to work for God – “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:9-11)
10. Encourages us to pray – “The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.” (1 Timothy 5:4-6)
Let’s read our original verse again, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. (Romans 15:13)
Our God is a God of hope and He will fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him and when we trust in Him, our hope overflows by the power of the Holy Spirit. When our hope overflows, it will pour out and touch others and give to them hope also. So may God fill you tonight with His joy and peace and may you trust Him in every situation and may His hope in you be so great that it overflows and touches those around you by the power of the Holy Spirit.