The Value of Hope
Definition: A confident expectation of fulfillment
- "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." – Hebrews 6:19
- "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope." – Moroni 7:41-42
While there are many scriptural examples to choose from, Abraham’s display of hope stands out. At the age of 75, God promised Abraham to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens. There was only one problem. Sarah was barren and Abraham was, well, old.
Didn’t matter to Abraham, though. The scriptures tell us he “believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). You see, hope does not rest in what is possible. Hope rests in our trustworthy, constant God and His unfailing promises. For 25 more years, Abraham sustained his hope and relied on the Lord until God’s promise was fulfilled and he truly became “a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5).
As a society, we often define hope as wishful thinking, a feeling that something desired may happen. “I really hope I get a promotion,” or “I hope the Heat win the NBA finals!” We’d like those things to happen, but we might not have faith they will come to pass.
But this is not our Christian hope. Hope is scripturally defined as an immovable object: an anchor “sure and steadfast.” It is an absolute, without-a-doubt guarantee of promises God will fulfill.
But what does “hope as an anchor of the soul” mean for our lives? An anchor prevents a boat from drifting due to wind or current. The sheer weight of an anchor placed on the seafloor is enough to make sure a craft tethered high above at the waterline is secured. Our hope is designed like that anchor, with enough mass and holding power to steady us through trials. We face the trials of passing storms, but we are still fastened spiritually in the same place after the storm passes.
In addition, our hope is interconnected “to our faith in him according to the promise” (Moroni 7:41). Hope is actually faith in the future tense (v42)! Earlier in this values series, we learned faith is the substance, or proven actions, of things hoped for. Faith is what we use to have hope. And our hope, our confidence in God’s promises, is what causes us to use our faith (knowledge) to rely on the Lord.
Points to Ponder
- How do we effectively use our hope when God isn’t answering our prayers?
- Worldly definitions of hope encourage us to hang onto something that may or may not happen. Have you ever put your hope in something that is totally out of reach? How does that compare to the hope God has given us?
- How do we increase our faith to support hope? Or vice versa?
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.