Sense of the Day: To Hope (in Someone)

SOTD-SocialShare-612x612Sense: to hope (in someone)

v. — to have trust or confidence in someone; especially as regards the future.

For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set (ἐλπίζω) on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

1 Tim 4:10

There are aspects of the English usage of “hope” that may be unhelpful in understanding the biblical concept of “to hope (in someone).” In particular, we use phrases like “hope for the best and plan for the worst.” Idioms such as this suggest that the conception of hope is of something uncertain and perhaps even in some cases unlikely. It is possible that similar more despairing uses of hope do occur in the Bible; however, at least in today’s example verse, the hope is more rooted in trust. As the Bible Sense Lexicon hierarchy makes clear, hoping in someone is a kind of “to trust (faith)”:

This hope more closely associated with trust is part of what motivates the “toiling” and “struggling” mentioned in the first part of the verse.  It is possible that a hope that is uncertain or considers the object of its hope unlikely to help may be less likely to motivate trusting action.

Learn more about the Bible Sense Lexicon.

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Written by
Jonathan Watson
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Written by Jonathan Watson