My parents taught me to never give up hope. My teachers inspired me to dream big. I still hold on to those ideals today, but when that job offer doesn’t come or the diagnosis from the doctor brings disappointment, I begin to ask myself this question. Am I hoping for the right things?
God knew we would face discouragement. He provided for those times by giving us verses like this. “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” (Romans 15:13). The Word motivates us to keep moving forward when our situations seem hopeless.
But how do we know if we are hoping for the right things? How do we know if our big dreams are from God? Here are 10 hopes and dreams in the Bible. Let’s allow them to uplift us today and draw our attention back to the “God of hope.”
1. Hope for God’s promise fulfilled, against all logic.
“The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation’” (Genesis 12:1-2b NLT).
God made an unbelievable promise to Abraham. Yet Abraham demonstrated hope in the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise. “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be’” (Romans 4:18).
2. Hope to endure our suffering.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (Romans 5:3-4).
Paul lived a life full of tribulation. Because of that, he could speak these Holy Spirit inspired words with confidence. God teaches us through the apostle Paul how rejoicing in our suffering will lead to strengthening our hope.
3. A dream to build something great for God.
“Then King David rose to his feet and said: ‘Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building’” (1 Chronicles 28:2).
David desired to give God his best. Although he had good intentions, God directed David to pass the responsibility of building the temple to his son, Solomon. The gospel message kindles a fire inside us to dream big for God. Just like God had a special plan for David and Solomon, He has one for each of us too.
4. Hope for a better future.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
This well-known verse in Jeremiah comes in the midst of a warning. The Lord speaks to the prophet with strong admonition for His children, but also reassures them of His ultimate desire. God loves us and wants us to obey His commands.
5. Hope to reach the Promised Land.
“And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, ‘Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess’” (Joshua 1:10-11).
After a 40-year trek, the Israelites prepared to enter the land God promised. He reassured Joshua with the words, “… do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (1:9). The path may seem confusing when we can’t see what’s ahead. But God will bring us to the place He promised, and He will be with us on the journey.
6. A dream for freedom.
“Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house” (Genesis 40:14).
Joseph knew one day the dream God gave him would become reality. But first, he needed to trust God with one minor detail – he needed to get out of prison. The chief cupbearer Joseph spoke to in this verse may have forgotten Joseph, but God hadn’t. In His timing, the Lord released Joseph from jail and established him in a place of honor.
7. Hope to finish God’s assignment.
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NLT).
We serve in the local church, work full-time jobs, and raise families. We give to missions, support ministries, and volunteer our time. Sometimes we get tired, but Paul’s perseverance provides just the example we need. The good news of my Savior brings me refreshment and renewed hope.
8. Hope for Christ’s return.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3).
The disciples didn’t want to hear that Jesus would be leaving them. The thought of living life without Jesus by their side? It seemed too much to bear. But Jesus reassured believers with these words that still comfort us today. He will come again.
9. Hope for eternal life.
“… in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1:2).
In Paul’s greeting at the beginning of Titus, he reminds us of the ultimate promise we receive when we choose to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. We will one day live forever with Him. Jesus gave His life so we could have that hope.
10. Hope in God alone.
“And now, oh Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7).
David’s song shares the answer to our question. When hopelessness threatens to take over, God is the definition of hope. Keeping our hopes and dreams rooted in God alone gives us peace for each new day. Let’s place our hopes and dreams in God with this assurance, “For you, O Lord, are my hope…” (Psalm 71:5).
Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart who teaches about God’s powerful, relatable Word. She is the author of Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Kristine writes about her God-story and helps others discover their own at www.morethanyourself.com.
Publication date: August 17, 2016