August 2, 2021

What Does It Mean To Have Hope?


What is the difference between faith and hope?  Both words are used in the Bible quite frequently. Do you remember that 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Now abide faith, hope, love” NKJV.

“The word faith is used in the sense of ‘ trust ‘, whereas the word hope is used in the sense of ‘anticipation’.”[1] Hope always involves waiting for something that is as yet unseen but something we can count on. Romans 8:24 says, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” NKJV. Yes, hope always involves waiting, but hope means we can wait patiently and confidently, knowing that what we are anticipating will eventually be reality.  “Hope is a confident expectation that naturally stems from faith. Hope is a peaceful assurance that something that hasn’t happened yet will indeed happen.”[2]

“Hope” is used differently in the Bible than in our every-day language.  When you and I use the word “hope” we usually use it to refer to something we wish for. “I hope I can go on vacation this summer,” or, “I hope our son gets accepted at Best-in-the-World University.” But in the Bible, the word “hope” refers to something that we know will happen. We simply have to wait and trust until it does happen.

For instance, the Bible tells us we have

hope in God’s Word (Psalm 119:114, Romans 15:4)
hope that God will hear our prayers (Psalm 38:15)
hope in the resurrection of our bodies after we die, and in eternal life (Romans 8:24, Titus 1:2)
hope of Christ’s return and of heaven (Titus 2:13, 1 Peter 1:13)

These are not just “wishes” but truths we can depend on and hold in happy anticipation of what lies ahead for us. As the writer of Hebrews says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19).


[1], accessed 1/26/2021.

[2], accessed 1-26, 2021.