Hope is a common and essential feeling humans have. It is the feeling of anticipation for the desired event, which is better than the present. But, hope, according to the Bible, is more than an optimistic attitude.
Hope according to the Bible
Hope in the Bible’s original language is translated into two main Hebrew words: Yakhal and Qavah. Yakhal means “to wait for.” Just like when Noah “yakhal” for weeks after the floodwaters receded. At the same time, Qavah refers to the feeling of tension and expectation while waiting for something to happen. Prophet Isaiah pictured God planting vines and He “qavahs” for good grapes.
So, in Biblical Hebrew, hope is about waiting or tense expectations.
But, most of these mentions in the Bible, the authors hope or wait on God Himself. As the same with the poet in Psalm 130 where he said, “I qavah for the LORD… and let Israel yakhal for the LORD because He’s loyal.. and will redeem Israel from all its sins.”
Hope in God
In the darkest seasons of Israel, when they were exiled from their land, oppressed by foreign enemies, their only hope was God.
Biblical hope is different from optimism. Optimism is choosing to see how the circumstances could work out for the best. But, biblical hope is not dependent on circumstance. In the Bible, hopeful people are those who recognize that there is no evidence that things will get better, but they chose hope anyway.
But, their hope is focused on the character of God and His faithfulness. Just like during the time Israel came upon the land of Egypt. The tribe of Israel suffered in Egypt for a long time until God surprised them with His redemption. And they believed that God would do so again. Hosea said of this, “God could turn this valley of trouble into a door of hope.”
So, hope in the Bible is motivated by God’s faithfulness in the past. As Tim Mackie said, “You look forward by looking backward, trusting in nothing other than God’s character.”
Reference: Youtube | Bible Project