Bible Verses about Hope in Anxious Times
As we make our way through the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic and so many other troubling events, we turn to the scriptures for a message of hope. The word hope occurs in nearly 150 Bible verses (NRSV version). This strong thematic emphasis reminds us that our faith pioneers needed occasional shots of hope, just like we need them. Our hope fundamentally rests in the conviction that no matter how bad our lives or the world may seem at any given moment, God is good.
What is Biblical Hope?
Biblical hope is more than sunny optimism. The hope our biblical verses attest is more than believing everything will turn out fine. The biblical vision of hope embraces wide-eyed realism. Scripture teaches that hope is about trusting that God will be with you in the darkest moments–even “in the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23). This vision of hope accepts things may not turn out as we wish, but affirms, we will still turn out for God.
Pastor Dave’s Top 10 Bible Verses about Hope.
Here are ten scriptures about hope to get you through difficult times. Meditate on these verses to strengthen your spirit and renew your hope.
1. Faith is linked to hope (Hebrews 11:1)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
There is more to this world than meets the eye. Faith reminds us to look beyond the situation as it is to the condition that it can be. Faith as “assurance” is a powerful sentiment that provides peace amid anxiety and fear.
2. Nothing Can Separate Us from God (Romans 8:27-29)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When things get rough for me, Romans 8 is my “go-to” scripture. This fantastic chapter reminds us of God’s presence with us, no matter what the circumstances. Even when we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us. Somehow, even when things are at their darkest, we are still on God’s winning side.
3. When discouraged, look for God’s help (Psalm 42:11)
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
Many psalms contain a pattern of complaining about circumstances before turning in faith to God. The Psalmist acknowledges the awfulness of a situation and resolves to continue in praise. Biblical hope rises to praise God even when outward circumstances are dire. The psalms recognize that the God who acted in history can be trusted to act in the future.
4. Accepting the difference between “wants” and “needs” (Psalm 23:1)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
When times get hard, I always go back to the 23rd Psalm, the first Psalm I ever memorized. I smile when I think the line about “I shall not want.” Before I learned better, I thought it was saying that I don’t want this Shepherd/Lord in my life. Now I know it means God provides for our needs. The key is to be satisfied with God providing for our needs instead of our “wants.” Read more in my sermon on the 23rd Psalm.
5. Looking beyond the present moment (Proverbs 23:18)
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
The hardest thing to do in difficult moments is to see beyond the present moment. There is a future, and it belongs to God. Knowing this helps calm me down when I’m freaking out.
6. Hope implies waiting (Isaiah 40:31)
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
We often read this passage in memorial services to comfort grieving families. In times of grief, we look for the strength we need from God, the internal strength to get through it. That strength often comes in the support given by other people. If you are going to be a hopeful person, you will also have to be a patient person. Maybe it is in the combination of the two that we find the strength for the present moment.
7. Don’t just hope, pray! (Romans 12:12)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
While you are practicing patience, don’t let your hope get lonely. Persevere in prayer. Naming to God what is on our hearts helps clarify things in our minds. The process of prayer can help give us a new direction to fulfill our hopes.
8. Keep a long-range, eternal perspective (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
From an eternal perspective, there is always hope. Our afflictions give way to glory. Even in our sadness, and anger, and brokenness, we trust that the good we do is not in vain.
9. The unfailing goodness of God (Hebrews 10:23)
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
As believers in Jesus, we follow a particular path in life. The earliest Christians were called “people of the way.” The way that Jesus taught us to live is rooted in the belief that our every effort matters. Real hope inspires us to keep working and doing the right thing – even when our efforts appear fruitless – and doubts assail us. Biblical hope is absolute trust in the unfailing goodness of God – whatever happens.
10. Easter means there is always hope (Luke 24:2-3)
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body
Sometimes we feel like giving up. Sometimes we are so broken we don’t know what we feel. Sometimes it is so dark we fear the light will never shine again. But Easter-Faith says, “Don’t give up! God is with you! God’s love endures forever!”