By modern day definition, hope means to wish for something, without the certainty that it will be fulfilled. It is an unsure optimism. The bible however, gives a different meaning to the word hope. In biblical terms, hope is an indication of certainty; a strong and confident expectation. It is not just wishful thinking, it is a sure belief that what you hope for will come to pass.
I throw around the word “hope” on a daily basis, in the modern sense of the word: I hope it doesn’t rain; I hope the stain comes out of my new dress; I hope I get a refund on my taxes. All of these are things which I desire to happen, but I have no confident expectation that they will happen. If these wishes do not come true, it’s really no big deal. Hoping for life on that other hand, well that’s a different matter. It is here that I employ the biblical definition of the word hope.
Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Matthew 11:24) In this quote, Jesus assures us that when we have faith, and truly believe that we will receive, our prayers are certain to be answered. The power of prayer then, lies not in the asking, but in the belief that what you ask for will be granted. That is hope. In that sense, cancer gave me something to really hope for. I do not “wish” for a full recovery, I “hope”, with certainty that my prayers will be answered.
Tip: “Refusal to hope is nothing more than a decision to die.” (Bernie Siegel, M.D.)