Biblical hope is not at all like our modern day understanding of hope.
Psalm 78:5-7 says, “He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” The purpose of parenting is godly offspring. And godly offspring set their hope in God. They do not set their hope in talent, connections, education, hard work, money, opportunity, or any other good thing like that. All those things are good, but they are not worthy of being the object of hope.
What is Hope?
Biblical hope is not at all like our modern day understanding of hope. It is not wishful thinking. It is not a desire which may or may not be met. Biblical hope is confident expectation. Biblical hope is knowing the God of truth, resting on his promises, and acting accordingly. It involves an unseen but certain future (Romans 8:24-25). The bible tells us we have: hope that God will comfort us in suffering and ultimately deliver us from affliction (2 Cor 1:7, 11); hope of eternal life (Titus 1:1-2); hope of a resurrection of all people (Acts 24:14-15); and hope of the return of Jesus (Titus 2:13) just to name a few. Hope is given by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13) and received through the Word of God (Romans 15:4; Colossians 1:5).
The Fruit of Hope
Hope produces memories and faithfulness. Hope in God causes us to not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments. Godly people remember the faithfulness of God. The reason they remember it is because they have first heard it from someone else. Somebody, somewhere along the way shared. God often uses a previous generation to share with the present one. They do this though the Word of God and their obedience. The more familiar the present generation is with God’s faithfulness to past generations, the more likely they are to place hope in His faithfulness. God set the cycle up to be unending.
The greatest advertisement for God’s faithfulness is obedience. Obedience screams louder than any story telling. Want your kids to place hope in God rather than money? Then pray with them when money is tight, and place the tithe check in the offering plate. Want them to place hope in God rather than talent? Then pray with them asking God to do something of eternal value with your talent. Want them to place hope in God rather than a boyfriend, girlfriend, or even a spouse? Then love your spouse even when your spouse doesn’t love back. Take joy in a daily walk with God without demanding your spouse meets your needs.
If we want our kids to place hope in the unseen reality, then we must do it first to show them what it looks like. Hope in God results in obedience to God. In other words, obedience is the fruit of hope. It is the proof of hope.
So let’s close out the 3 week look at the purpose of parenting with 3 practical steps:
Pray for and with your children that they will to come to – and grow in – faith in Christ, who is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1). Outside of Christ, there is no hope (Ephesians 2:12).
Read the Scriptures to and with your children. It would not be illogical for us to conclude that the more time spent in the Word, the greater chance our hope will lie in the God of the Word.
Most importantly, place your Hope in God. Repent to God and confess openly to your children when you don’t. Ask in faith that God will fill you again with power from the Holy Spirit to hope in Christ.
The purpose of parenting is godly offspring. Becoming godly takes time. Godly offspring place their hope in God. According to Romans 5:5, hope does not disappoint.