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OPINION

A Quick Bible Study, Vol. 166: What the New Testament Says About Hope

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

Author's Note: All previous volumes of this series are here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book  "Bible Study For Those Who Don't Read The Bible."  "Part Two," featuring volumes 57-113, was published  in December.

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Thanks for joining us for what the New Testament says about hope. There is much to say and why I needed to divide our hope study between the Old and New Testaments. To frame today’s discussion, I will repeat what I wrote last week, “After reading this lesson, I hope you will be more uplifted at the end.”

But first, if you were busy celebrating Mother’s Day and missed reading “What the Hebrew Bible Says About Hope,” now is a good time. And while we wait, the rest of us will soar on eagle’s wings listening to this hopeful hymn inspired by the famous Isaiah passage

Ok, everyone ready now? 

Last week we briefly discussed what Dr. Viktor Frankel wrote in his classic book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” how “holding onto hope was literally a life-or-death choice” in Nazi death camps.

Today, we learn about hope from a “Man of God” whose decades-long ministry brought millions to faith in Christ. His name is Rev. Billy Graham. And from the “Billy Graham Library” is a December 2019 “blog” titled “5 Things the Bible Says about Hope.” However, since Rev. Graham died in February 2018, this blog is likely based on past teaching or written by one of his acolytes. Nonetheless, what follows is a practical, biblically based lesson on the importance of hope, that I embellish.

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1. “Hope is Never Lost.”

The accompanied verse is:

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” (Romans 8:24). Raise your hand if you know what author St. Paul refers to as “this hope”? Answer: The hope that accompanies salvation through faith in Christ and what He did for us on the cross. I will also add the verse that follows:

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25). Here is how I experience the concept of “hope is never lost.” I am blessed to live overlooking the ocean. In the early morning, when the sun emerges from the horizon, I marvel at His great power as Creator of the Universe. That is when I know hope is never lost and His love for us is omnipresent.

2. “We can be Confident in Hope.”

The Graham lesson’s illustrative verse is from the inspiring “faith chapter” in Hebrews:

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). (See Vol. 141 for more about Hebrews 11.) 

St. Paul explains why we can be “confident in hope”: 

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time...” (Titus 1:1-2).

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Our greatest hope should be for eternal life, in which believers have confidence because “God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time...”

3. “True Hope comes from God.”

Here is the verse chosen by the Billy Graham Library to illustrate that concept:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Pity those who don’t know God — where do they get their hope? Relying on humans to fill your hope tank can be helpful but not foolproof or 100 percent effective. However, depending on the one true source of hope — Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, the originator of hope, and through the power of the Holy Spirit — your hope tank will always be filled or refilled whenever you call upon Him. 

4. “Hope is a Gift.”

The verse offered in Graham’s teaching is Romans 5:5, but it should be read in context to grasp its full meaning. So here is Romans 5:1-5, another of St. Paul’s greatest hits. And perhaps I should rename this study “What St. Paul said about hope”: 

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

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Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5).

Whenever you need a hope boost, remember to “boost in the hope of the glory of God,”  and then expect to receive that “gift of hope” because:

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf” (Hebrews 6:19-20.)

5. “Hope Endures.”

The Graham lesson cites this Proverb from the Hebrew Bible: 

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18). But, this is a New Testament study, so back to our friend St. Paul, who offers an encouraging message:

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people...” (Ephesians 1:18-19).

Finally, one more injection of hope — my favorite verse that always pops into my brain:

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Nothing speaks of hope more than “Christ in you” and the glory of eternal life with Him.

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I hope this study has made you more hopeful. And if you know someone whose “hope tank” needs filling, please share the verses we read today. Amen to that!  

Myra Kahn Adams is a conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. Her book, "Bible Study For Those Who Don't Read The Bible," reprints the first 56 volumes of this popular study. "Part 2,” with the same title, reprints Vols. 57-113. Order it here.   

Myra is also Executive Director of SignFromGod.org and the National Shroud of Turin Exhibit. Both are educational donor-supported ministries dedicated to building a permanent Shroud of Turin exhibit in Washington, D.C. See Shroud exhibit news and visit the life-sized Shroud replica in D.C. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com




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