Hope in the New Testament! The Word "Hope" Does Not Mean What We Think Today...

Life is full of both hope and anxiety. Many of us have hopes every single day. But in today's language,  the word "hope" implies that there is doubt that what we hope for will actually happen. 

In today's language, just by using the word hope, we imply that there is at least a little bit of anxiety present, because in today's language,  we are not certain that what we hope for will actually happen.

This is not true of the Biblical language. The word used for "hope" in the Bible contains no doubt that the hoped for event will happen.

Did you get that? In the Bible -- the word "hope" is appropriately translated as something expected to occur without doubt. That's a big difference from what the word "hope" implies today. Let me explain further by giving some background information.

The word for "hope" in the original Greek is

 ἐλπίς, pronounced elpis. This word, as it was used in ancient times, would be properly translated today as "anticipation" or "expectation" or even "confident expectation."  Elpis implies that something is going to happen, and the subject is anticipating it with confidence. Furthermore, in the ancient times, this word was also sometimes used when someone was confident something bad would happen.  In the Strong's Greek concordance, it clearly states that the word elpis may be translated as "hope", but that it should be understood that this type of hope is an expectation of what is sure or certain.  (Strong's Greek, 1680). 

In short, whenever you read the word "hope" in the New Testament, you may now read that verse appropriately by inserting the phrase "confident expectation" in its place. 

Ok? Well, let's try some.

In these verses below, substitute the phrase "confident expectation" in place of the Greek word derived from elpis

"Therefore, since we have such elpida, we are very bold." - 2 Cor 3:12
"Therefore, since we have such confident expectation, we are very bold."

"May the God of elpidos, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with elpidi by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13
"May the God of confident expectation, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with confident expectation by the power of the Holy Spirit."

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have elpida."  - Romans 15:4. 
"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have confident expectation."

"This truth gives them elpidi that they have eternal life, which God -- who does not lie -- promised them before the world began." - Titus 1:2
"This truth gives them confident expectation that they have eternal life, which God -- who does not lie -- promised them before the world began." - Titus 1:2

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the elpidos that you have." - 1 Peter 3:15. 
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the confident expectation that you have."

And finally -- this next one is my personal favorite:

"We have this elpidos as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." - Hebrews 6:19
"We have this confident expectation as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."

There are over 50 uses of this word elpis, or "certain hope" in the New Testament, many of them in Romans. So I encourage you to remember -- the next time you are reading your New Testament and come across the word hope -- to remember that this hope is not a doubtful hope! 

It is a certain and confident expectation that may bring peace and joy to your innermost soul. 

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How to Practice the Presence of Jesus: Even When You Are....(fill in the blank)

Update 2/12/23: As the news of the revival at Asbury University has spread, I am reminded that "practicing the presence of Jesus" is something we can all do to help flame a revival in our individual hearts. Sharing this post from a few years ago when I found myself in a time of dryness........

The blog post below is an excerpt from Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today.  I'm sharing it here because honestly, I have really back-slided for the last 2-3 months in my spending quality time  with God. I've even fully failed in keeping my prayer record updated.  My prayer life is suffering too, as I've tried to squish it into busy days that have started back with the start of the school year. Not unexpectedly, my daily level of anxiety has increased, my afternoon fatigue has been tremendous, and my motivation has been low. Ugh! I know better than this; so why do I keep coming back to this place?

Thankfully, I have a plan to get back into "practicing His presence." I wrote about this simple but life-transforming strategy a few years ago, and now I'm posting and sharing the excerpt here. I will be re-implementing this strategy over the next 30 days, and I encourage you all to do the same. Let's see what happens!

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"...So the Biblical challenge is this:  keep all your mind on the Lord all the time.

I wondered -- can anyone do such a thing? Then I wondered, why would the Bible tell us to do something if it wasn't possible? Next I wondered, how could someone do such a thing? Or at least, how could someone try to do such a thing?

 And then a very simple, very childlike idea came to me. Using a child-level idea, I set up a private challenge for myself. I created a personal plan of action that some of you may think is silly. I decided that, for me, the only way I could come close to keeping the Lord on my mind all day would be to pretend that He was actually physically with me, as well as being spiritually with me.

I'm actually a little embarrassed to tell the lengths I had to go to in order to attempt to keep the Lord on my mind. Again, because it seems so simple, so childlike, and even maybe a little immature.   Yet, do you know who else did what I am about to describe to you? King David. David seemed to have taken a personal "think about God as much as possible" challenge throughout his life. Yet David wasn't too embarrassed to tell about it. He wrote all about his walking with the Lord and talking with the Lord, all throughout his life...

...So here it is: I decided to take a "Remember He is With You Challenge" for 30 days straight.During these 30 days, I would remember that God was with me all the time by pretending, like a child pretends in his imagination, that He was actually physically with me.

 See, I would wake up in the morning and think of Jesus as if He was sitting at the foot of my bed, saying "Good morning! This is a new day God has for you." Then He would follow me into the bathroom -- yes even the bathroom -- and sit on the edge of the tub as I brushed my teeth. There, He would help me get my thoughts ready for the day.

 Next, I would leave to drive to work, and He would sit in the passenger seat of my car, and we would talk about whatever was on my mind for the day. He would lead me to think about the challenges that might come up at work that day, and He would cause me to consider how to best approach handling them.

 While at work, I would be extremely busy, of course. So, I  decided to put an extra empty chair in one of the corners of my office, and to me, that was "His chair." Whenever I would get a few minutes break from working on a written report,  I would imagine He was there. Although I was really busy, that chair reminded me that if something stressful happened during the day, I could immediately consider Him for help.  If I had a stressful meeting, I would just imagine Jesus sitting right there physically in the room, at an empty seat at the conference table, watching over everything, and reminding me -- I will guide you through your troubles, so please remember I am here, and I want you to genuinely depend on me.

 Finally, on the drive home from work, I would pretend Jesus would be physically in my passenger seat again, reminding me that even though my day had been long and tiring, that I should remember to have patience with the children, and all the household tasks, and all the after-school tasks that keep us busy. At home, He had a place on the sofa in the living room; and He would help me to remain calm when the children started fighting or in whatever happened or needed to be done while with my family.

 I did this all in my own mind.  Even my husband and my children didn't know I was doing this. Of course I didn't tell them. I couldn't let them know my mind was so weak that I had to play child-like imagination games with myself, in order to remember God...

 ...Well, let me tell you what happened.  I scheduled and followed this personal "Remember He is with You" challenge for 30 days straight.

Simply put -- it was a very enjoyable month, and by about day 20, I didn't have to "pretend" anymore that He was there.

 I no longer had to pretend on His presence;  because by that time, I could perceive His presence.  After only 20 days or so, I couldn't get Him or His ways out of mind if I tried. Finally, finally! I had found His presence...

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If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today

The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GospelLifeBooks

Author's other books can  be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans