“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
One goal or purpose for the Scriptures in our lives is to develop and increase our hope. Because God is a God of hope, He wants our hope to abound in a greater measure.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Many times hope is a neglected part of the Christian life. Hope alone will never bring results from God’s Word. But when hope is developed in the Word of God, then used in connection with faith, we will begin to see the move of God in our lives as we have desired.
Too often in an effort to make faith work, people have overlooked the importance of hope in God’s Word. But as we study the Bible, we will find that hope is an extremely important and necessary ingredient for success in the Kingdom of God.
Hebrew 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What can faith give substance to if there is no hope? We must have hope in God’s Word before our faith can produce anything.
Hope sets the goal for our faith. Once the goal is set, our faith can go into operation to bring that goal from God’s Word into the present physical world.
Meditating in the Word of God brings these hopes and goals into clear view. The goals God has for us become more vivid each day. As our hope is expanded, our capacity for faith is also expanded. When we put faith into operation, we have a clear picture of what our faith is bringing to pass.
This is the same principle God used in creation. He had an inner picture of what He expected the universe to look like. He knew what He expected man to look like. He had a hope, or a goal, and He released faith with His words which created the images He had within Him.
Hope is a confident and favorable expectation. When we allow the Word to create a favorable expectation, and then add our faith to that expectation, we have a winning combination.
This helps to explain why many people fail to receive healing in their bodies, even though they believe in the principles of healing — some have even died while believing in healing. Somewhere along the way, they lose their hope. They lose sight of their “confident and favorable expectation.” They become hopeless. They don’t see themselves getting well. They don’t see themselves getting out of bed. They have lost all hope of being healed. Their goal is no longer to continue the fight of faith, but to simply go on to be with Jesus.
There isn’t a prayer of faith that will change that way of thinking. There is little anyone can do for a person who has willingly laid down his hope for receiving from God. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
Unless we make the effort to keep our hope and expectation in God’s Word, we will become sick and weak in our hearts. It is vitally important to keep a strong and active hope.