Hope is the belief that, under certain conditions, gain or blessing is occurring or will occur. Hope motivates us to
seek those conditions and avoid other conditions.
seek the source or means to receive the gain or blessing
seek the means, strength, and will to overcome and endure against forces working to withhold the gain or blessing
The belief that, under certain conditions, gain or blessing will occur may come from the testimony of the Spirit of truth. It always points to God as the only reliable source and God’s means as the only reliable means to experience gain or blessing. Hope that is based on other things is false, or tare, hope.
And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to the voice of the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
God sets before us conditions under which blessings will occur - if we listen to the voice of the Spirit of God and do what he instructs us to do. This is the basis of true hope. God tells us the truth of the conditions of blessing so we will continually walk in those conditions and so we will be continually filled with hope - expecting the blessings.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)
Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that you receive what you hope to receive. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
“I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”
Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised. Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:11-19)
God reveals to us the conditions under which we receive blessing. God is absolutely trustworthy. Our faith in the trustworthiness of God is the assurance that we will receive the blessings hoped for.
Hope works in prayer when we believe, based on the testimony of the Word and Spirit of God, that under our current conditions we receive what we desire and ask for in prayer. The faith in our prayer will be tested and when it is proven genuine we have what we ask. Through hope we endure and hold fast to the testimony of the Word and Spirit of God.
What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. (Mark 11:24)
In prayer we hope: we believe, based on the testimony of the Word and Spirit of God, that we have entered the conditions in which we will receive the answer to our prayer. Believing we receive what we have asked for in prayer is hope and should produce a joyful expectation of having the results prayed for. Hope and joy are the normal fruit of believing we receive and will be the natural result of true faith.
It should be noted that hope is not only the belief that we will receive blessing. Hope is also the belief, based on the testimony of the Word and Spirit of God that, under certain conditions, we can contribute to others receiving blessing. Like faith, hope is strengthened when it works by love.