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Monday, June 6, 2011


My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Words: Edward Mote; music: William B. Bradley

Yes, that’s me singing hymns again. Did you read my POST last week about praying hymns?

This great hymn was running through my head as I was thinking about what to share with you on this glorious Monday. It set me thinking about hope.

The world often refers to hope as wishful thinking. As we gaze at the dark clouds roaming above our heads we say, “I sure hope it doesn’t rain.” 

Or we eye the gas tank needle hovering well below zero and say, “I hope I make it to the gas station.” 

Or we purchase a lottery ticket and say, “I hope I win.”

 I like to think of Christian H.O.P.E. as an acronym:

Heaven is
Opened by the
Promise of

In Christianity, hope is not wishful thinking. It is not just something we “want.” It is confident expectation. It is a solid assurance about things that are unknown to us in the physical world. Based on God’s character and His promises.

We say, “Our hope is in Christ.”

But when you say that, is part of your brain still translating it as “I sure hope I end up in heaven”? As if there might be a question mark floating around inside your brain? Is part of you wondering if that hope is only wishful thinking?

Christianity isn’t a “wish”-y washy faith. It is based on truth backed by historical evidence and by a rational, common-sense understanding that doesn’t come from someone’s active imagination. So let’s look closely at the word hope.


An intransitive verb is an action verb that has with no direct object. In other words, the action is not done to anything or anyone else.

Let’s head to Webster’s dictionary for the intransitive verb hope:

1.      To cherish a desire with anticipation
2.      To trust

In Christian-ese, that would be like saying “I hope to see my family again in heaven.” It’s not wishful thinking; it’s based on trust. But this definition still doesn’t fully encapsulate the sense of absolute certainty that we’d like.

There’s also a transitive verb form of hope. A transitive verb is also an action verb but requires someone or something to receive the action. The transitive verb hope means:

1.      To desire with expectation of obtainment
2.      To expect with confidence

Do you notice the difference between the intransitive and transitive forms of hope? We’ve moved from “anticipation” to “expectation of obtainment.” An example of the transitive verb hope would be: “I hope for an eternity with Christ.” We expect it with confidence.

We’re getting closer.


But Christians more typically use the word hope as a noun. Hope becomes a thing; something real and true. The definition of the noun hope is:

1.      Trust, reliance
2.      Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment
3.      Someone or something on which hopes are centered

These definitions explain that hope is not mere wishful thinking. When it comes to our faith, our hope is a result of God’s promise.

1.      We rely on God’s promise.
2.      Our desire comes with expectation of fulfillment.
3.      Our desire is centered on God himself.

In fact, our Christian hope is based not on only one of these definitions, but on all three. Like the Trinity.

If the Creator of the universe promises something, when it happens it’s not wish fulfillment. It’s fulfillment of what we have expected, based on our hope in Christ. Not sinking sand, but solid rock.


Our hope is also built. Jesus, the carpenter was a builder in life. And He is a builder of our faith.

Hope is built stronger as our faith becomes stronger. And our faith is built stronger as our recognition grows of the fulfillment of promises made.

My hope is not built on wishful thinking.
My hope is not built on something I simply want.
My hope is not built on what I can accomplish in this life.
My hope is not built on crossing my fingers and holding my breath.
My hope is not built on a quick wish as a comet streaks across the sky.
My hope is not built on a coin tossed in a fountain.

My hope is the full assurance of what God has promised; based on the evidence I see around me of His goodness and love. Of His promises made. And based especially on the promises He has fulfilled already through Jesus, the Christ.

My hope is built. It is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your promises and your faithfulness in fulfilling them. Thank you for giving us a solid foundation upon which to build our full assurance in you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you wondered about the idea of “hope” and whether it is only wishful thinking? What does “hope in Christ” mean to you?


Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,
I love what you have done with your blog !
I haven't been on here is a very long time.
Love the praying names.
How about adding My daughter, Ananda=loving mother,divine mother
and my son, Justin.Justin has been struggling with trying to find a job in the business world.
How about Bob, as well?
I miss everyone in our book group.
I miss you and Love you.
Mary k.
ps not sure what to put here so I will just be anonymous

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Mary - Thank you Mary. I will add Ananda and Justin to the names list. Bob is already there--Robert. Hugs.