So strong, so beautiful is hope that it is scarcely possible to overpraise it. It is the divine alchemy that transmutes the base metal of adversity into gold. In the midst of death Paul could be bold and buoyant because he had firm confidence in the final outcome. "For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake," he said, but his heart remained cheerful knowing that "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:11,17). His lovely little benediction pronounced over the Roman Christians shows how faith and peace and joy live with hope like four fair sisters dwelling in the same cottage: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13). Faith is confidence in the character of God, and hope is the sweet anticipation of desirable things promised but not yet realized. Hope is an electronic beam on which the Christian flies through wind and storm straight to his desired haven. To the child of God, hope is a gift from the heavenly Father "who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope" (2 Thessalonians 2:16).
The Christian's hope is sound because it is founded upon the character of God and the redeeming work of His Son Jesus Christ. For this reason Peter could call it "a living hope" (1 Peter 1:3). It is living because it rests on reality and not on fancy. It is not wishful dreaming but vital expectation with the whole might of the Most High behind it.