Every Sunday, when I leave church, I see a sign claiming, “Hope lives here.” Once, I was with a brother and pointed out the sign to him, saying something like, “I found hope.” What’s striking about the sign is not what it says as much as it looks to reside over an empty lot. I don’t know who put up the sign, but perhaps it was a church that had this verse from Romans in mind.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

Romans 8:24 (NIV)

The empty lot, of course, represents the unseen hope. Or that’s the reader in me stretching a metaphor…

Often though, when I see that I sign and read those words, I’m reminded that hope is found in God’s word.

The word “hope,” or a derivative thereof, is found 180 times in the NIV Bible. Ninety-seven times in the Old Testament and 83 times in the New Testament, with hope most prominently in Psalms (34 times) and Job (18). Romans leads the New Testament with fourteen occurrences of “hope.” What I find fascinating about the dispersion of the word “hope” throughout the Bible is where it’s found the most and the least.

In the Gospels, hope only appears once in Matthew and John, three times in Luke, and never in Mark. However, if we consider Romans 8:24, it makes sense that hope isn’t discussed in the Gospels because they’re about Jesus, our living hope, and Jesus is present in all four Gospels. I’m reminded of Jesus’ response to why his disciples weren’t fasting.

Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Matthew 9:15 (NIV)

It makes sense, then, that in the Old Testament, we see hope used the most in Job and Psalms. Job is about suffering, and Psalms are poems and songs ranging from topics about suffering and hope. Of the 150 Psalms in the Bible, Psalm 119, the longest Psalm, uses the word hope seven times. One of my favorite passages of Scripture comes from Psalm 119.

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Psalm 119:114 (NIV)

My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 119:11.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

There is no better place to put our hope than God’s word. Although Psalm 119:11 doesn’t use the word “hope,” that’s what I’ve hidden in my heart since that’s what’s found in God’s word; hope.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.