May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
I'm quite sure we have often said the words "I hope so" when speaking about something we would like to happen — good weather for a BBQ, a happy outcome for an operation and so on. It's easy to say "I hope so", even when we may doubt that the happy outcome will come to pass.
Hope is one of the great 'Christian words'. In the world of the New Testament, it was a very common Greek word, but in its Christian setting it has become one of the very key words in the vocabulary of those who follow Jesus Christ. The first thing to say then is that Christian hope is not wishful thinking. For the Christian, hope is "a forward look at a distant goal" (N. Turner) and I will tell you why it is such a great Christian word.
Hope comes to us based on the Gospel — all that Jesus has done for us. It keeps our eyes on the eternal God and his eternal promises. Hope always has its feet planted in the grace, mercy and love of God so that, even in the difficulties of life, we have the assurance that God does not forsake us or leave us to flounder in our own efforts. God is the God of hope. All of this means, as Paul says, we can have joy and peace in believing and can abound in hope — it is God's gift to us, keeping us looking forward at the great goal ahead of us, the hope which is laid up for us in heaven (Colossians 1:5).
Dear Lord, please keep my eyes on you and the hope of eternal life with you. Amen.