What Christians Have
Looking forward to something is a common practice among people; the time of an event, or the
anticipation of seeing a loved one separated by distance and time, holidays and other joyous
occasions are examples of "things hoped for". Sometimes people foolishly hope for something or
someone when in reality it is only wishful thinking. Wishing is not the same as hope. Let us look at
What is a wish? Defined in the dictionary, a wish is to desire or long for something or someone. In
our language the word derived from a combination of Anglo-Saxon and Latin words also
implicating to page worship. Many fairy tales and children's stories are about people making wishes
involving rites and incantations such as witchcraft. The word "wish" is used in the Bible, but is
merely a poor translation from the original language. For example, the following verses in
- Psalm 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
- Psalm 73:7 Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts overflow with
- 2 Cot 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we
wish, even your perfection. AV
- 2 Cor 13:9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. What we pray for is
your improvement. RSV
The words translated "wish" more often had been better translated "desire" or "pray for". To have
a wish, then, implies lustful, foolish, vain (empty) desire. In contract, "hope" by its definition has
strength and greater expectation of the desired objective. The Bible associates "hope" with
- I Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory: that
your faith and hope might be in God.
In the Hebrew letter faith is defined: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen". The key word is "substance"! Faith is the "foundation
rock" of "hope". Faith, or believe, is nothing without reason or trust. For example, a bank loans
money to an individual in good faith hoping for timely repayment based upon a trust established
upon the past record of an individual's income and repayment history. Faith in God's work follows
the same pattern. Trust in God is based upon the evidence of past experience one has with God.
One cannot have "faith" or "hope" without knowledge.
Living hope is the hope of life, eternal life, the only real life. Peter wrote in his first epistle, "Blessed
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively (or living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
the dead." When one is born again, they experience new life; a life different than before. A living
hope is placed within a regenerated person's soul. That "hope" is Jesus Christ. The new life is the
life of Jesus abiding, or living within the person regenerated. The hope is in the resurrection of the
dead. The verse note on the scripture above by A.T. Robertson states: "The Pharisees cherished
the hope of the resurrection (Acts 23:6), but the resurrection of Jesus gave it proof and
permanence (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). It is no longer a dead hope like dead faith
(James 2:17,26). This revival of hope was wrought "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
( | dia anastaseôs | ). Hope rose up with Christ From the dead, though the disciples
(Peter included) were slow at first to believe it."
- I Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is
- I Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
- James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone
- James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead
Do you have living hope? If so, your hope is in Jesus Christ by faith or trust, not by something you
have seen but through an internal, spiritual working of God in your soul. You are looking for the
same thing many others have before, the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus Christ and the promise
Hebrew 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them
afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were
strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrew 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
Hebrew11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out,
they might have had opportunity to have returned.
Hebrew 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not
ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
On the other hand, if you do not have an abiding presence of God in your soul there will be a
sense of emptiness, hollowness, no hope. If you do not have a God-given confidence of eternal
life then all you have is wishful thinking.
Brother Steve Perrigo
An Ordained Baptist Minister
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