The Encarta Dictionary defines hope as “to have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely”. Synonyms include; confidence, chance, desire and want.
This definition works for most things in life. I hope I get a good parking spot today. I hope things get better. I really hope that cute dress is still on sale next week. I hope the kids will behave in front of company tonight.
I did a word search on hope yesterday and wound up spending most of the morning on it. In most of the Bible it means just as the world sees it especially in the Old Testament where people were looking forward to the hope of the coming Messiah.
In some places in the New Testament the word hope still has the same meaning, I wish or I want. But in the majority, the meaning changes to the confirmation of the Blessed Assurance of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ and a home in Heaven to come, as seen in Titus 1:2” In the hope (Blessed Assurance) of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began.” NIV.
After many years of struggling with doubt over my salvation, on November 13, 1986, at 33 years old, I asked Christ to come into my life if He hadn’t before and forgive my sins. Using Christ’s example, when He was in the desert for 40 days, (see Luke 4:1-13) I needed to use the Word of God to defeat Satan’s attacks on my belief and commitment to Jesus. Titus 1:2 became my life verse and anchor every time Satan tried to make me doubt my salvation. It took awhile and some convincing but he doesn’t use that doubt on me anymore.
Titus 1:2 has become my “Blessed Assurance”, along with other verses, that I am truly a child of God. The biggest evidence of this is that during all those years previous to 1986 is that there was no change in my heart or my life that God was in control. I was looking for that big “AHA” moment that others said they had. It never came for me.
When I finally asked Jesus to be my Savior, He came in quietly, with no fanfare, no “Aha”. He came in and flooded my soul with the peace and rest that I so desperately needed. Since that day there were, and still are, lots of struggles and problems but I know I no longer have to face them alone. Jesus shows His love to me through the many loving Christian people He puts in my path.
One day on a busy five lane highway, my car ran out of gas. As I was next to the left turn lane I coasted into it rather than try to cross two lanes of busy traffic to get to the shoulder. As I sat there wondering what I was going to do, a truck pulled up going in the opposite direction. He asked if I needed help and I told him I was out of gas and out of money. He pulled out a five dollar bill, handed it to me and drove off. Cost of a gallon of regular gas in 1986: $0.93.
Other verses that have become my “Blessed Assurance” include:
Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”
1 John 1:9 “If (I) confess (my) sins, he is faithful and just to forgive (me my) sins and to cleanse (me) from all unrighteousness.”(paraphrase mine)
Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”