by Harold & Bette Gillogly
When people talk about hope, what they usually mean is “wish.” “I hope this will happen.” “I wish that would happen.” But when the Bible speaks of hope, what it means is “confidence.” Because of who God is, and what He has done in the past, we are confident of what He will do in the future. It’s the difference between, “I wish a bus would come by,” and “I’m so sure a bus will stop here that I’m waiting here with my suitcase.”
Scripture speaks of hope hundreds of times, so we know it’s important to make sure we not only understand it – we also need to know how to live it. This short study will help you discover what you need to base your hope on, how you need to cooperate with the operation of hope, and what wonderful benefits God has for you when you live a life filled with hope.
BASIS – What do we base our hope on?
First let’s look at what NOT to put our hope in:
We are warned NOT to put our hope in ___________. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Tim. 6:17)
We are warned NOT to put our hope in man’s ___________. Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Prov. 26:12)
We are warned NOT to put our hope in ___________. When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing. (Prov. 11:7)
We are warned NOT to put our hope in ___________. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. (Psa. 33:17) Today this could mean anything we think can deliver or save us, like our career, position, possessions or even an SUV.
We are warned that the ________ man has no future hope. For the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. (Prov. 24:20)
Now look at what we SHOULD put our hope in:
Our hope must, first of all, be placed in ___________. Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this. (Jer. 14:22) We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. (Psa. 33:20)
We hope in His _________ ________. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psa. 33:18)
We are to place our hope in His ________ and His ________. My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. (Psa. 119:81) (Also Psa. 119:114,147 & 130:5 ) Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. (Psa. 119:43)
We hope in His _________. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. (Psa. 52:9)
We also hope for His continued _________________. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. (2 Cor. 1:10)
We are commanded to hope in the _________ He will give us at the coming of Christ. Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pet. 1:13)
(Here’s a funny one.) If we are _______ we should have hope. Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! (Ecc.l 9:4)
Look at where our hope comes from:
________ gives us hope and a future and eternal __________________. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope. (2 Th. 2:16)
God ___________ our heart so we may know hope. I pray also 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 the saints. (Eph. 1:18)
It is through the ____________ of Jesus Christ that we are given hope. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Pet. 1:3)
Hope and _________ come from God. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (Psa. 62:5)
It is the presence of _________ in us that gives us hope. …Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)
The ___________ give us patience and encouragement so we can have hope. Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope. (Rom. 15:4 New Century)
So what do we base our hope on? On God and His Word and His promises to us!
OPERATION – How do we cooperate in the operation of hope?
We have responsibility in maintaining our hope!
God tells us we must ______ _________ to the hope we profess. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb. 10:23) But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. (Heb. 3:6)
It takes our ____________ to make our hope sure. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. (Heb. 6:10-11)
______________ is also required. But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Rom. 8:25)
Suffering produces perseverance, which produces _____________, which produces hope. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Rom. 5:3-5)
We must remember God’s great love and ____________ to have hope. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:21-23)
_________ and hope go together. But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. (Psa. 71:14) Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Rom. 12:12)
We are called to be ___________ and take heart if we have hope. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. (Psa. 31:24)
We are called to ______ our hope in God, which is a choice. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psa. 42:11)
Those who hope, also ___________. But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)
We must put on the hope of our salvation as a _________ to protect our minds. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Th. 5:8)
We must continue to focus our hope on God’s __________. Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pet. 1:13)
We should always be prepared to give others the ____________ for our hope. But in your hearts set apart 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 Pet. 3:15)
Our _________ and _________ are a result of our hope. Without hope, they would have nothing to spring from. …because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel. (Col. 1:4-5)
If we have hope we will _____________ ourselves. We will stay right with God and with others. We will take care of any sin or barrier which hinders fellowship and, as far as it depends on us, live at peace with everyone. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3)
Did you catch how active hope is? It’s not just something we have. It’s also something we DO. We hold on to it, make it sure, choose it, put it on, set it on God alone, and purify ourselves because we have it.
BENEFITS – What wonderful benefits does God have for us when we hold on to hope?
Take a look at these benefits of hope:
If we hold on to hope, we will never be put to __________. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. (Psa. 25:3) (See also Psa. 25:21 and 69:6)
God’s unfailing _______ will rest upon us. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (Psa. 33:22)
Other believers will _________ when they see us. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. (Psa. 119:74)
___________ and the Lord’s help are on those who hope in Him. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God. (Psa. 146:5) The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psa. 147:11)
Renewed ___________ belongs to those who hope in the Lord. 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. (Isa. 40:31)
Those who hope won’t be ___________. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. (Isa. 49:23) (See also Rom. 5:5)
God is ___________ to those who hope in Him. The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. (Lam. 3:25)
______ and _________ accompany hope; and the power of the Holy Spirit will make us ____________ with hope. 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. (Rom. 15:13)
If we have hope we become very _________. Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. (2 Cor. 3:12)
Our ____________ is inspired by hope. We continually 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 Th. 1:3)
If we have hope we will not __________ like those who have no hope. Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. (1 Th. 4:13)
Great __________________ comes to those who take hold of hope. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. (Heb. 6:18)
However, Hope does not always exclude us from trials or afflictions.
Paul was put on _______ because of his hope. And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. (Acts 26:6)
Paul was also in ___________ because of his hope. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain. (Acts 28:20)
Did you notice the Scriptures that promise we will never be put to shame or be disappointed when we hope in God? These verses used to confuse us. We thought we were hoping in God, but then what we were hoping for didn’t happen, and we were disappointed. We wondered what was going on…weren’t we hoping right?
That was exactly it! We were not hoping right. We had our hope in what we wanted God to do – not in God Himself. We’d ask God to take care of our needs. “You know the house payment is almost due, Lord. Our hope is in You. Please take care of this need.” Then we’d get all disappointed because there were no checks in the mailbox that day. God didn’t perform the way we expected Him to. Instead of putting our hope in God to take care of our need any way He good and well pleased, we put our hope in a mailbox. DUH!
It took us a while, but the lightbulb finally flashed: When you put your hope in a mailbox – or a job, or a house, or a car, or even your family – you will be disappointed and frustrated. But when you put your hope in the God of hope, you’ll never be disappointed. You will know God’s blessing and His unfailing love. He will fill you with joy and peace and encouragement. And even when trials come, your strength will be renewed and you’ll be able to endure.
WHENEVER you are disappointed and frustrated, that’s a red flag that should make you ask yourself: Where’s my hope? Be honest – have you been setting your hope on something you wanted Him to do, or in God Himself? You won’t be disappointed if your hope is in God alone! That’s His promise! So when you’re feeling disappointed – or you see your brother or sister disappointed and frustrated – the question to be asked is, Where’s your hope?
So…this is our prayer for you and for ourselves: 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.
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