Someone once made this startling observation: It has been said that man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, and about eight minutes without air—but only one second without HOPE.
There are others, however, who have been so disillusioned with hope. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who pro-pounded the idea of “death of God,” said, “Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” Another person who didn’t have much hope about hope was T. S. Eliot, a British poet and playwright. He said, “I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing.”
While I can’t see eye to eye with their perspectives, I can un-derstand their scepticism. When you flip the pages of the daily newspaper, turn on the television for news hour, or browse the internet for latest news, bad news from politics, economics and social scenes predominate. Hence, putting hope on these would be like a “hope for the wrong thing.”
The Bible stresses on the subject of hope. But it’s different! While “hope” in our modern usage has the idea of “unsure optimism,” it was “strong and confident expectation” in the classical and New Testament Greek usage. Hope, in the bi-blical usage, is a confident expectation of events in the future. The biblical hope has its foundation in the Almighty God. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was gi-ven to us” (Rom. 5:5).
It was with this consistent understanding of the biblical teach-ing of hope that the apostle Peter wrote to the believers who were dispersed in Asia Minor probably as a result of persecu-tions (1 Pet. 1:1). Before instructing them how they should live under such adverse circumstances, Peter directed the at-tention to their standing in God’s plan. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled…reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (vv.3-5). Al-most within one breath, Peter excitedly revealed the secret!
Dearly beloved, bear in mind that our hope isn’t “unsure opti-mism;” it is a “strong and confident expectation” because it is founded on the abundant mercy of the Almighty God.
Living in hope,
Unsure optimism prolongs the torments of man;
hope founded on God brings salvation to mankind.