There's an old hymn which begins: 'My hope is built on nothing less...'
What exactly is hope? Some people see hope as a vague longing for something to happen - 'I hope I get the job'; 'I hope I pass the test' and so on. With this kind of hope you are never quite sure whether the thing will come about. It's more of a wish.

For the Christian hope is something else. It is an assurance based upon God's love and promises. The Psalms in the Bible are songs about life and faith, about deep depression and great joy and always hope. In some of these psalms we see the basis for hope:
'But the Lord looks after those who fear him, those who put their hope in his love.'  (Psalm 33:18)
'... put your hope in the Lord because he is loving and able to save.'  (Psalm 130:7)
'I find rest in God; only he gives me hope.'  (Psalm 62:5)

So the basis for hope is God's love, a love grounded in promise and commitment.
Because we can trust God, even when the most difficult times come we are promised an inner peace to see us through:
'You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.' (Isaiah 26:3)
And as his disciples darkest moments approached Jesus told them not to be troubled but to trust (John 14:1-3).

Now what is the foundation for this hope? The Psalmist says that the grounds for hope lay in the Word of God (Psalm 119:81). Why? Because it is revelation and guidance, and it endures (Isaiah 40:8).

Now we can see that hope is based in God's love and grounded in the Word of God but what is this hope focussed upon? For Christians it is the return of Jesus to set up his rule on Earth and put all things right (Titus 2:13) and to bring about the resurrection of the faithful dead and metamorphosis of those alive at the time into immortal, glorified bodies so that they can live forever with the Lord. This hope is secure in the believer and in heaven:
'You have this faith and love because of your hope, and what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven....  God decided to let his people know this rich and glorious secret which he has for all people. This secret is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory. '  (Colossians 1:5, 27)
But how can the Christian be sure of this resurrection hope? Because Jesus himself is resurrected from the dead:
'[God]  has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead.'  (1 Peter 1:3)
And 1 John 3:2 says that Christians don't look up to much at the moment but when he returns they will be transformed to be like him.

So what does that mean?  Paul says that it is the hoping for a new and better body. One that is without defect, disease or death. An immortal and eternal body (1 Corinthians 15:35, 42-44). Paul calls Jesus the firstfruits of the resurrection. This means that Jesus was the first to be resurrected and changed but the rest will follow later. Also, there are no ghosts in this hope. Jesus was raised in a real resurrected body ('They were fearful and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus said, “Why are you troubled? Why do you doubt what you see? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have a living body as you see I have.”' Luke 24:36) and so too, those holding this hope will be changed: '[Jesus] will change our humble bodies and make them like his own glorious body.' (Philippians 3:21)

For the Christian there is a change coming:
'... we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that he rose again. So, because of him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died. The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. At the same time, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.'  (1 Thessalonians 4:13ff)
'But look! I tell you this secret: We will not all sleep in death, but we will all be changed. It will take only a second—as quickly as an eye blinks—when the last trumpet sounds. The trumpet will sound, and those who have died will be raised to live forever, and we will all be changed...  this body that can be destroyed will clothe itself with that which can never be destroyed, and this body that dies will clothe itself with that which can never die.' (1 Corinthians 15:51ff)

There is much talk these days of looking after the planet, caring for the environment and protecting nature. A bleak picture of a stagnant planet, a ruined landscape and extinction on a big scale. Yes, we do have a responsibility for Earth. We are meant to be stewards but ultimately the Christian hope is of a renewed and regenerated Earth. Peter writes that we await a renewed and restored world which God will bring about regardless of what humans are doing now (2 Peter 3:13) and Paul tells us that not only are people held in the grip of corruption and decay but that the whole of nature is imprisoned in a cycle of survival of the fittest, kill or be killed, predator and prey but that will all change after the resurrection. Even nature will be released into peace and harmony! (Romans 8:18-25)
Christian hope endures through all circumstances (1 Corinthians 13). Why? Because it is not a wishy-washy might be word but an absolute assurance based on faith. As Hebrews 11:1 says: 'Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.'

And what is that something which is real? That something is someone - the Redeemer who died to save humanity, who is the Resurrection and the Life, and who is returning to raise all who hope in the promises and restore creation to its original beauty.

'My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.'