Thursday, 23 June 2011


As a linguist I think it is in my job description to be hyper aware of different senses of words. Most words in human languages have nuances of meaning to them depending on their context. Sure, dictionaries are helpful and keep us somewhat all on the same page, but they by no means capture all the senses of words and nuances of meaning. It is because of these different senses that humor is even possible most of the time. When we make a joke we usually use a word, or words that normally has one connotation in a certain context and use it in another context where it doesn't really belong and creates a tension that we generally find humorous. Enough about the theory of humor though and on to what I wanted to talk about.

Hope as we use it commonly is nothing like the hope described in the Bible. Let me put it in context for you. "I hope Jill comes to the party tonight." vs. "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5 Do you see the difference? One is dependent on a fortuitous outcome. If Jill does not come to the party, then your hope is in vain and has disappointed you. Biblical hope does not disappoint. In fact, it is in our sufferings that we hope even more. It is when things are least fortuitous that hope swells. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 it says, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;" just after talking about the passing away of things that aren't permanent like childishness, prophecies, tongues, etc. meaning that hope will not pass away. Hope is everlasting and something we have because of what Christ has done for us. No circumstance can steal it from us. No enemy can crush it. Our hope in Christ does not disappoint, no not ever.

For His Glorious Name,

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