We use the word hope so casually in our daily lives – we hope the rain will hold out, we hope we get the job, or we hope we make it to church on time (and let’s be honest, this may be a more desperate hope than others).
Sometimes, the word hope is simply a substitute for wish. We wish for a good thing to happen, thinking that maybe if we want it badly enough, it will.
But what about hoping in God? This hope is not a passive, fingers-crossed kind of hope. It’s an active, confident, powerful trust in Him. Because when we place our hope in the Lord, we don’t leave our lives up to circumstance. Instead, we hand them over to the God who cares deeply for us and desires to bless us.
However, even when we hope in God, it’s easy to do so in a somewhat noncommittal way. We may say that we trust Him, yet try to be in control in every area of our lives. Or we express belief in His goodness, but when faced with trials are left feeling let down and disillusioned.
So, what does the Bible say about where we place our hope? What would it look like for us to truly hope in God? In this post we’ll explore Bible verses about hoping during hard times as well as the reasons for our hope.
Hope in God
When we trust in ourselves, we rely on something flawed, fickle, and failing. If we try to live in our own strength long enough, we will soon come to terms with our own inadequacy. The fact is, none of us are capable of true, lasting success; placing our hope in our own abilities is a mistake.
Likewise, putting faith in the world or in our circumstances will leave us hurt and broken. We’re counting on something unpredictable, something that does not care for us.
But hoping in God means hoping in someone who loves us, who was willing to suffer and die for us. It means depending on one who has our best interests at heart. This is a secure kind of hope, the result of trusting in the God who can do all things.
Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;”
Lamentations 3:21-25 – This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.”
Hope Through Faith
In order to hope in something, faith is required. By definition, we cannot know for sure if, when, or how we will receive it. We must let go of our need for control and instead patiently wait for the realization of our hopes.
Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
While we have not yet reached the things we hope for, we do know this: the Bible says our hope is not built on something earthly and temporal. It rests in the eternal, living God.
Thus, though we may not know how every circumstance in our lives will play out, we declare that God is mighty and can perform what He has promised.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.’”
Hope in Hard Times
It’s often most difficult to find hope in God during seasons of suffering. Our circumstances may be hostile, the consequences of our actions painful, or our next steps entirely out of our control. And in these moments, it can be so hard to have hope in God.
Being a believer does not mean that we will avoid trials. We still live in a world marked by pain, sin, and death. But the Bible says that in our hard times, God is our hope, strength, and provider. He equips us with what we need to endure.
Romans 5:3-5 – “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Psalm 42:5 – “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.”
A Future Hope
Scripture tells us that our hope is not in this world, but in the next. This life is temporary, and while it’s easy to be caught up in our daily experiences, we must remember to look forward to the beautiful future that God has promised.
When that day comes, we will dwell with the Lord. He will wipe every tear from our eyes. We will no longer face suffering but will live eternally in the presence of God.
No matter our circumstances here on earth, we can endure them well because we know that they will end. We can rest in the promises that God has given us – promises to make all things new, to restore us and bring us into His glory. This is a true, lasting hope.
Titus 1:2 – “In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago”
1 Peter 1:13 – “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 21:4 – “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of placing our trust in ourselves or in the world, but we know that these will fall short. The Bible tells us where to place our hope – in the only one who’s worthy of it.
When we trust in the Lord, we can hope boldly and securely, because we have full confidence that He will do what He has promised.
Our hope helps us endure hard times. We know that this world is not our home, and that one day we will live in the presence of Jesus. Nothing on this earth can take that promise away from us, and so we have hope.
Today, we pray this blessing from Romans 15:13 over you:
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”