Wednesday Word Study – Hope

 January 4, 2012


Transliteration: elpis
Phonetic Spelling: (el-pece’)
Short Definition: hope, expectation
Definition: hope, expectation, trust, confidence.

1680 elpís (from elp?, “to anticipate, welcome”) – properly, expectation of what is sure (certain); hope.


Hope is something that is easily translated into a ‘feel-good’ emotional entity.  It ranks right up there with joy and love.


We use it a lot just like those words too.  “I hope so…” is a common phrase used a lot just like telling someone who is just a friend, “I love you…”  We know that love is so much more than that, but so is hope.


As a feeling it is hard to describe what hope feels like.  But it reminds me of a faithful pet who was resting comfortably with their head on their paws and then they hear a familiar noise from the drive-way. 


They perk up and listen.  They hope it is their master, but they aren’t quite sure yet so they don’t waste the energy to jump up and run if isn’t.  You can see the hope (expectation) in their eyes.


But that show of uncertainty defies the actual definition of true hope.  In the definition above it says that hope is:


Expectation of what is sure or certain – confidence…


But if we plug that into the places we use hope we will find that it falls short.


  • I hope to get that pay raise next week.

  • I hope to see my friend when they come to town.

  • I hope I won’t catch the flu.

  • I hope I can get out of deft this year.

  • I hope this car won’t break down until I can buy a new one.


But in all of these things there is an air of uncertainty.  We have what we know as hope – but we do not know for sure.


But if we read the definition of hope it states that hoping is a certainty or confidence of what will happen.  No we haven’t yet seen it, but we are confident in its happening.


Proverbs 13:12

12) Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.


This scripture has been one that has been a constant companion for most of my life.  I was one to continually entertain hope and then see it deferred with a sure result of feeling heart sick.


So in looking closer at this verse in the Hebrew, because it is in the Old Testament which was written in Hebrew, we see that the word deferred is this…


mashak: to draw, drag

In studying this word further it literally mean to drag out or to delay.


Awe, I see now…


Hope that has been drug out or delayed makes the heart grow sick, but when that dream is fulfilled or complete it is like a tree of life.


Before studying this verse in depth I always looked at hope as being either fulfilled or unfulfilled, but it really means either fulfilled or delayed.


If we have a confident expectation of a thing or event and we pour our faith into it, we will see it fulfilled.  Now it may be delayed.  It may not happen on the time schedule that we believe it will or should, but here it says nothing about it never happening.


But I am convinced that so many times the dream which we are believing for is delayed and then we give up hoping and that is what makes our heart grow sick.  But if we are persistent and don’t give up believing, then when it is fulfilled, it will be a tree of life.


So today let me encourage you as I did on Monday, search your heart for those great dreams and goals that God Himself has placed there.  Pull them out, dust them off, pour your faith into them and then give them to God.


Hope with confident faith that they will come to pass, in God’s perfect time.  If it seems delayed, don’t dismay or give up.  Continue to be steadfast hoping and believing!


No matter what your beliefs are, I want to thank you for visiting my Christian blog!


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