Hope Based on Personal Strength is Futile: Hope Series 1/4

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Hope based on our own power is a feeble power and comes to nothing.

Hope based on our own power is a feeble power and comes to nothing.

Hope is a general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled    . . .   an expectation or wish, an optimism which may or may not be well founded,   . . .     and someone or something on which expectations are centered.[1]

Human beings need hope in order to thrive at life, realize ambitions, overcome another hellish day, maintain optimism through illness, and follow fantastic visions.

Hope is also about something or some person being powerful enough to fulfill expectations.

This latter impression of hope is a new one for me to contemplate. It is also more in line with the biblical definition of hope. This 4-part series will look at hope according to this last idea. I’ll show how Biblical hope, in the Old Testament and New Testament, is centered on a Person.

 Old Testament Hope

 146 passages in the Old Testament contain the word or notion of hope. Half of these uses are secular and are an “expectation combined with certainty and tension, directed towards some definite desired object or event still lying in the future” (Hoffmann, 239).

Many of these hopeful expectations are not well-founded and can in fact be called futile or foolish.

“When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength,” (Proverbs 11:7).

Hope based on our own power is a feeble power and comes to nothing.

The next post will discuss how the other half of the “hope” verses in the Old Testament are centered on a Person.

Your Turn . . . 

  • How would you define Biblical hope?
  • Where do you place your hope?
  • Do you agree/disagree that hope based solely on our own strength is feeble?

Related Posts . . .

4 Part Hope Series. The posts will be hot-linked as they go live.

  1. Hope Based on Personal Strength is Futile (5/16)
  2. Biblical Hope (5/20)
  3. New Testament Hope According to Paul (5/22)
  4. Biblical Hope Shapes Response to Life (5/27)

[1] Definitions of hope on the web.

 FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post.


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