Wishful Thinking Or Confident Expectation?

Q. Re: 1 Peter 3:15. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Why is it only a hope that we have? I’ve always considered that a strange phrase. Why is it not a sure thing? I hope for many things all the time, but a hope is wishful thinking. I hope all my family will be saved, but I have no assurance of it. How is Salvation any different? How can we be sure of our Salvation when it’s only a hope that we have?

A. Although the Greek word “elpis” is usually translated “hope” in the New Testament (as it is in 1 Peter 3:15) its primary meaning is “expectation” which gives it a much stronger sense of assurance than merely being wishful thinking. In the case of salvation, this assurance comes from our knowledge of God and our faith in His promises. The online concordance I use defines the word as “a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” Peter was advising us to always be ready to explain to anyone who asks why we live in a joyful and confident expectation of inheriting eternal life.

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