Like flour in bread, hope is an essential ingredient in the Christian walk. Philosophers and psychologists alike recognize how vital hope is. Shane J. Lopez, PhD, a leading researcher on hope, says that hope is like oxygen: "We cannot live without hope." Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky said, "To live without hope is to cease to live."
The word "hope" is heard often in our everyday conversations: "I hope it rains," "I hope the Vikings win," "I hope to become the next American Idol," "Let's all hope for the best." While these thoughts convey wishes, dreams or optimism, they aren't really hope in the Biblical sense. Biblical hope is not a wish or a dream that may or may not become reality. Hope is based on the rock-solid, dependable truth of God's Word.
As Christians, we hope for things we can't even fathom. Hope sparks our imaginations and gives us visions of glory. The Apostle Paul wrote, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)
Biblical hope outshines any temporary pain, struggle or hardship we may be going through in life. What we will someday receive is not even worth comparing to our lives today. It's not a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when."
Philosophy or psychology might impart the importance of hope, but human-made wisdom cannot manufacture hope. Only the Lord our God, the giver of life and grace, is the giver of hope. As the Psalmist wrote, we are truly blessed when we recognize this fact and cling to hope, and our hope is in Christ.