On the way into Richmond last week I saw a large billboard off to the side of the highway emblazoned with a word in huge letters: "HOPE". In small letters beneath was a reference to the local hospital I believe. It certainly grabbed your attention! I was thinking about the thousands of commuters that passed the sign on their way into the city for a work day. Hope is just what all of us needed that day (and every day). Hope is one of those words that has one meaning to most of the world and another to those who have placed their trust in Jesus. For the world, hope is a picture of a dream, a wish for a desired outcome...but there is no certainty of its fulfillment. For the believer, hope is the assured outcome of what the living God has already accomplished for all who have trusted in Him. That assurance comes from (1) His promise and (2) His inner affirmation of that promise by the Holy Spirit who now indwells the believer throught the wonderful work of faith!
Hebrews, chapter 11 puts it this way:
verse 1: Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.