The Bible sometimes uses “hope” in the conventional sense. The ploughman, for example, should plough in hope (1 Cor. 9:10), for it is the hope of reward that sweetens labor. But for the most part, the “hope” with which the Bible is concerned is something very different; and in comparison with it the other “hope” is scarcely recognized as hope. The majority of secular thinkers in the ancient world did not regard hope as a virtue, but merely as a temporary illusion; and Paul was giving an accurate description of pagans when he said they had no hope (Eph. 2:12; 1 Thes. 4:13); the fundamental reason for this being that they were “without God”.
Where there is a belief in the living God, who acts and intervenes in human life, and Who can be trusted to implement His promises, “hope” in the specifically biblical sense becomes possible. Such hope is not a matter of temperament, nor is it conditioned by prevailing circumstances or any human possibilities. It does not depend upon what a man possesses, upon what he may be able to do for himself, norupon what any other human being may do for him. There was, for example, nothing in the situation in which Abraham found himself to justify his hope that Sarah would give him a son; but because he believed in God, he could against hope believe in hope (Rom. 4:18). Biblical “hope” is inseparable, therefore, from faith in God. Because of what God has done and is now doing through Christ, the Christian dares to expect future blessings at present invisible (2 Cor. 1:10). So “hope” means “confident expectation”.
New Testament “hope” is a patient, disciplined, confident, waiting for and expectation of the Lord, as Savior.
Psa. 146:5 Who is blessed (happy)?
Are you happy/blessed because your confident expectation is in the Lord that He will fulfill His promises, and why?
“tacheleth” – means expectation or hope.
Prov. 10:28 What is the hope of the righteous?
Why do think this is so?
Prov. 13:12 What makes the heart sick?
Have you ever been let down by another person because some expectation you had didn’t happen by the time you thought it would?
If so, share an example if it’s not too personal.
“tiqvah” – means hope or expectation.
Psa. 71:5 Who was this Psalmist’s hope/confidence, and from when?
What would be your personal answer to this same question, and why?
“elpis” – means “hope” or the expectation of good. This original word denotes a joyful and contented expectation of eternal salvation (Acts 23:6; 26:7; Rom. 5:4f; 1 Cor. 13:13). In the New Testament, “hope” means favorable and confident expectation. It has to do with the unseen and future (Rom. 8:24-25). It describes: the happy anticipation of good (the most frequent significance) – Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:21; the ground upon which hope is based (Christ) – Acts 16:19; Col. 1:27; and the object upon which the hope is fixed, 1 Tim. 1:1.
Acts 23:6 What did Paul cry out in the Council, besides his claim to be a Pharisee?
[“hope” – the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus].
Would you be willing to go on trial for this hope?
Acts 24:15 What was Paul certain of because of his hope in God?
Are you certain of this too because of your hope in God?
Why (Rev. 20:4, 12-13; Jn. 5:29)?
Acts 28:20 Why was Paul wearing this chain?
What was (or is) the hope of Israel (Acts 13:23)?
Would you be willing to wear a chain (or be imprisoned) for this hope?
Rom. 4:17-18 How did Abraham believe (Rom. 4:18)?
[“hope … hope” – confident expectation against all human possibility].
If you had been Abraham (about 100 years old with a wife in her late 90’s and you didn’t have any children) and God said you’d be the father of many nations, what would your response have been, and why?
Rom. 5:1-2 What does Paul and these believers at Rome exult (greatly praise or rejoice) in?
What do you rejoice and boast in?
[“hope of the glory of God” means the manifestation of God’s own glory / holy state of blessedness (Rom. 8:18; 1 Pet.4:13), our conformity into the image of that glory (1 Jn. 3:2; Rom. 8:29), and our redemption (Rom. 9:23, 1 Cor. 2:7; Rom. 8:21; Col. 1:27).].
Rom. 5:3-5 What does proven character bring about?
How do you think proven character brings about hope?
[“proven character” brings about “hope” because as God brought us through trials and we’re conscious of His all-sufficient grace – 1 Cor. 10:13 – that brought us through, so we can expect God to do everything else He’s promised too – e.g., 2 Cor. 4:17].
What doesn’t hope do, and why?
[This hope does not disappoint/fail you because its guarantee is based on the unconditional love of God toward us, as expressed by the Holy Spirit given to us.].
Rom. 8:24-25 What has happened to us in hope (confident expectation of God’s promise that at present is unseen, e.g., Eph. 2:8)?
[This means that when I trusted/put my hope (confident expectation) in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I was saved.].
What isn’t hope (a confident expectation of a future blessing that at present is unseen) that is seen, and why?
What does a person do, if he/she hopes for what he/she does not see?
What are you hoping (eagerly waiting with perseverance) for, and why?
Rom. 12:12 What are Christians told to be doing?
[“hope”, here, is not the object to which rejoicing is directed, but rather the cause or ground of the joy; in virtue of or by means of. So the word “in” means “because of”. And the “hope”, here, is Jesus Christ, e.g., 1 Tim. 1:1]. A metaphor.
Are you rejoicing because of Jesus Christ?
If so, how often, and why?
Rom. 15:4 How might believers have hope (confidence in looking to the future because they didn’t please themselves at the expense of others, Rom. 15:2-3)?
Is this how you get hope?
If so, why does this do that?
Rom. 15:13 How is God described?
Why does Paul pray that these Christians be filled with all joy and peace in believing?
Would you say that you are abounding in hope (confident expectation of future blessing)?
1 Cor. 15:16-19 If we had only hoped in Christ (had confidence in His being alive only) in this life, then we would of all people be what?
Why don’t you need to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:12, 20)?
2 Cor. 1:6-7 What does Paul and Timothy say about their hope for the Christians in Corinth?
How come (2 Cor. 1:5)?
Is your hope for someone firmly grounded?
On what basis (e.g., Jn. 14:1-3; 5:24)?
[2 Cor. 1:6 – “for … your salvation” – in the course of bringing them the gospel].
2 Cor. 3:12 Why were Paul and Timothy able to use great boldness in their speech?
Do you use great boldness in your speech in sharing the gospel or other truths because of the hope (confident expectation) you have of getting eternal life in heaven through God’s Spirit (2 Cor. 3:6) causing you to be born again spiritually (Titus 3:5; Jn. 3:5) and being made righteous (2 Cor. 3:9; Rom. 3:21-22) before God?
2 Cor. 10:14-16 What was Paul’s and Timothy’s hope/expectation?
Is one of your hopes that your trainees, youth group, Sunday School class, or Bible Study group will grow and mature so that you will be able to be freed up to minister to still others with the gospel?
Gal. 5:5 For what was Paul and these Christians at Galatia waiting?
On what basis?
Are you eagerly waiting for this definite expectation of righteousness (complete, experiential conformity in heaven to God’s will and holiness)?
On what basis?
Eph. 1:18 What is the first of three things for which Paul prays for these Christians at Ephesus?
Do you know (“eidon” – Gk., meaning perceive clearly or fully) that the hope of God’s calling you is to future glory and blessings in God’s presence in heaven (1 Pet. 1:3-4, 9; Eph. 1:3)?
Eph. 2:12 What does Paul say was true of these Ephesians before they were converted (besides their being strangers to the covenants of promise)?
Did you have a hope (an expectation of a personal Messiah-Deliverer and Kingdom Age or heaven) before your conversion?
If not, how did you feel or think before your conversion about the future after-life?
Col. 1:3-5 Why does Paul give thanks to God (Col. 1:5)?
Are you giving thanks to God for the hope (the confident expectation of going to heaven) of other Christians, and why?
Col. 1:22-23 What will happen if (since indeed) these Colossian Christians are not moved away from the hope of (complete confidence in) the gospel which they heard?
[The word “if” in Greek here is not “ean”, an unfulfilled, hypothetical condition used with the subjunctive mood (a verb form that represents a denoted act or state not as a fact but as possible or contingent), presenting the possibility of a future realization, but is “ei” with the indicative (a verb form that represents the denoted act or state as an objective fact), having the idea of “since” or assuming they will continue in the faith – Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, vol. 1, “Colossians”, p. 189].
Col. 1:27 What is/gives the hope of glory (sharing in His glory in heaven, Col. 3:4; Rom. 8:30; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Pet. 5:10)?
Is this the reason for your hope (confident expectation) of glory/going to heaven, and why?
If not, what is, and why?
1 Thes. 1:2-3 Besides these Thessalonian Christian’s faith and love, why else did Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy give thanks to God?
Are you steadfast in your expectation of Christ’s return to earth to take believers up to heaven, and why?
1 Thes. 2:19 Who is Paul and team’s hope (confident expectation) or joy or crown of exultation?
Who or what is your hope, joy, or crown of exultation, and why?
1 Thes. 4:13 Who did Paul and team not want these uninformed Christians (regarding Christ’s rapture of the already deceased Christians) to grieve like?
[“hope” – of being in heaven with Christian loved-ones who have died].
Do you grieve at the death of Christians?
1 Thes. 5:8 What is the Christian’s helmet?
Why do you think that God chose this piece of armor to represent this truth?
2 Thes. 2:16 What had God given these Christians?
Are these yours too, and are you experiencing them now?
1 Tim. 1:1-2 Who is Paul’s and Timothy’s hope (i.e., certain fulfillment of God’s salvation plan)?
Who is your hope, and why?
Titus 1:1-2 What did God promise long ages ago?
Are you one of the recipients of this promise to confidently expect (hope for) eternal life, and why?
Titus 2:13 What blessed hope (confident expectation) were they looking for?
Are you looking for this blessed hope?
How much are you looking for it, and why?
Heb. 6:10-11 Why did the author of Hebrews want these Christians to show the same diligence in ministering/helping other saints/Christians that some of them had already shown and were still showing?
Are you still realizing/experiencing the full assurance of your expectation of going to heaven because you’re obedient to how the Bible tells a Christian to live, or are you sluggish (Heb. 6:12) / lazy / disobedient / backslidden and, therefore, doubting your salvation?
Heb. 6:17-20 Who did the author want to have strong encouragement (Heb. 6:18)?
What was this hope they had compared to (Heb. 6:19)?
Is Christ your hope/anchor?
How else is this hope described (Heb. 6:19)?
Are you encouraged in your faith because of the trustworthiness of Christ as the Savior, even when you’re being pressured and/or persecuted by people to drop/dump your Christianity?
Heb. 7:19 Because the Law didn’t make anyone perfect, what did God bring in?
What is this better hope/expectation of good (Heb. 7:22; 8:6)?
The reason why it’s a better hope/covenant is because when Jesus shed His blood on the cross, He paid for all the sins of the believer in Him and, thereby, procured that person’s complete forgiveness and salvation in heaven (Matt. 26:28; Col. 2:13-14).
1 Pet. 1:3 What had God caused these chosen people (1 Pet. 1:1) to do?
Has God caused you to be a part of this living hope (eternal life in heaven)?
How (Jn. 6:44, 65; Eph. 2:8-9)?
1 Pet. 1:13 What should Christians fix their hope (confident expectation) completely on?
When you’re distressed by various trials, do you fix your hope (confident expectation) completely on the grace/salvation that will be brought to you when Christ returns?
1 Pet. 1:19-21 Why did God raise Jesus from the dead and give Him glory?
Are your faith and hope (confidence) in God, humanity, yourself, money, government, or science?
1 Pet. 3:15 What are we Christians always to be ready to do?
Has anyone ever asked you to give an account for your hope in Christ?
If so, what did you tell them?
1 Jn. 3:2-3 Who purifies himself, just as Christ is pure?
Are you purifying yourself to be Christ-like in purity because of your hope (confident expectation) to be like Christ when He appears to take you to heaven (1 Thes. 4:16-17), and why?