In the Old Testament they used two words for hope, both meaning “to wait for.” Yakhal was used for time (ex: waiting for the morning) and Qavah was used for events (ex: waiting for the morning dew). Both reflected a state of expectation and anticipation as the prophets expressed hope for God to come and save His people from their dire circumstances. Looking back at past events of God’s coming and rescuing His people motivated a hope for the future and a trust of God’s character.
In the New Testament, Jesus is God’s response to the people’s hope. The Greek word is Elips and is an anticipation, a hope of glory. Jesus was a living hope and foretaste of God’s plan for all creation. At Advent, we choose to look backward, at the living hope of Jesus, in order to look forward to a better future and the coming of the glory of God. Our hope is that God will liberate humanity, and the entire universe, from evil.
Look In: Discussion
- The video narrator said, “Hope is a state of anticipation that is crucial for healthy human existence.” Describe some really hopeful people you’ve known. Describe some not-so hopeful people you’ve known. Do you think the narrator is right?
- What are some real-life past acts of God in your life that give you hope for moving forward?
- How do we “look back” to “look forward?”
Hope is a choice we make to take part, in expectation and anticipation, of God’s coming glory. We look back at Jesus in order to have hope for the future.
- What is God’s plan, His glory, for the future of all creation?
- Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
If we are believing in the God of hope’s plan, what will we be filled with?
- If we are believing in the God of hope’s plan, by whose power will we abound in?
- What is one thing you can do this week, in reliance on the Holy Spirit, to help bring about God’s plan?
- How will you do this one thing?
Pray for one another to do it and be ready to share what God does with your obedience.
Great message from John Piper on Hope