Read 2 Corinthians 1:10
He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again. (NRSV)
When we read of ‘hope’ in the Bible,we need to jettison our common understanding of hope. We ‘hope’ the weather will be fine,or ‘hope’ our favourite football team will win,or ‘hope’ the medical tests are clear. In all such instances,we can’t be sure of an outcome. Our hope is more like a wish.
Biblical hope is different. It is a sure confidence that God will be faithful,an expectation that God will come through. It is not blind optimism or wishful thinking. It is based on our understanding of the character of God. And biblical hope thus blooms in all sorts of unfavourable conditions. Paul pulls no punches about his hardships,his encountering deadly perils. Note that his hope is not so much that he will avoid deadly perils in future,but that he will continue to be rescued.
Our hope is centred not on things always going our way,but God being with us to rescue and sustain us. It is ultimately centred on God finally putting all things right for ever and for good. Hope is what keeps us going when life appears ‘hopeless’.
The poet Dante wrote of the doorway to hell being inscribed with the text,”Abandon hope all who enter here.” Life without the presence of God is utterly and literally hopeless. With God alongside and within,there is always hope. Not that everything will always be good,but that God will always be good.