The Bible Offers Us Hope for the Future
Because of God we can anticipate a better tomorrow
There are many reasons why I love the Bible, in fact I list thirteen. One of those reasons is hope. The Bible is filled with hope. It’s mentioned 180 times in both the Old and New Testaments.
Hope in the Old Testament
The word hope appears ninety-seven times in the Old Testament, in sixteen of the thirty-nine books. Interestingly, the word hope isn’t found in the first seven books of the Bible. Psalms, however, is filled with hope, thirty-four times (such as Psalm 9:18). Job comes in second place with eighteen mentions (Job 13:15, for example). Much of the hope that appears in the Old Testament occurs in the writings of the prophets, who look forward in hopeful expectation to a better future (consider Isaiah 40:31).
Hope in the New Testament
Hope appears eighty-three times in the New Testament and pops up in twenty-four of the twenty-seven books (consider Romans 5:2). Interestingly, in the five books written by John—who writes extensively about love—hope only pops up once, in his gospel. The final book of the Bible, Revelation, doesn’t mention hope directly. However, the book winds down looking at a glorious future with a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). That’s something to hope for.The book of Revelation ends looking at a glorious future with a new heaven and a new earth. Click To Tweet
Hope in Our Present World
Some of the times hope is mentioned in the Bible, it anticipates a better tomorrow in our physical world: a hope for provision, a hope for deliverance, and a hope for protection, to name a few (check out Psalm 37:9). When we place our trust in God, we can be filled with hope that he will take care of us throughout our life.
Hope in Our Future Reality
In other places when the Bible mentions hope, it’s a perspective that transcends our physical realm (such as Acts 23:6). It’s hope in a spiritual eternity with God. It’s the hope of heaven. This anticipates an existence with no pain, sorrow, or disappointment. Some might call it paradise and others, Eden reborn. In this future reality, we will commune with God. We will worship him, serve him, and just hang out.
Some people follow God for the hope he gives them for a better tomorrow in this world. And that may be enough. Other people pursue God for the hope he gives them for a better tomorrow in the afterlife. And that is another reward.
The Bible is filled with hope, and it fills us with hope: hope in God for tomorrow and beyond.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.