Sermon quotes on hope

Augustine of Hippo

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.



Napoleon Bonaparte

A leader is a dealer in hope.

G.K. Chesterton

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.

Signs of the Times, April 1993, p. 6.

Norman Cousins

The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient’s hopes are the physician’s secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription.

Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.

Viktor Frankl

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.

Helen Keller

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.

Soren Kierkegaard

Hope is passion for what is possible.


Barbara Kingsolver

Hope is a renewable option:
If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning.


Eugene Peterson

Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.

And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. That is not hoping in God but bullying God. “I pray to GOD-my life a prayer-and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.



Hope is patience with the lamp lit.


 J.R.R. Tolkien

It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. (Spoken by Galadriel)

The Fellowship of the Ring

Emil Brunner

What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life. 

Emily Dickinson

To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime. 

Lewis B. Smedes

Waiting is the hardest work of hope.

Russian toast

Let us drink to the success of our hopeless cause.

Hal Lindsay

Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope. 

Pablo Neruda

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. 

Irish Proverb

Hope is the physician of each misery. 

Pearl S. Buck

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death. 

Vaclav Havel

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. 

Robert Ingersoll

Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.

Ernst Bloch

It is important to learn hoping. Its work does not despair, it fell in love with succeeding rather than with failure. Hoping, located above fearing, is neither passive like the latter nor imprisoned into nothingness. The emotion of hoping expands out of itself, makes people wider instead of narrower; insatiable, it wants to know what makes people purposeful on the inside and what might be allied with them on the outside.

The Principle of Hope vol. 1 

Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.  

L.J. Suenens

Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality.

William Stringfellow

Hope is reliance upon grace in the face of death: the issue is that of receiving life as a gift, not as a reward and not as a punishment; hope is living constantly, patiently, expectantly, resiliently, joyously in the efficacy of the word of God.

An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land, Word Books.

Russ Ramsey

John’s [the Baptist] purpose was to run wild with the hope that the Messiah had come.

Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Crossway.

N.T. Wright

The living God has come with healing and hope in Jesus Christ, has picked up the battered and dying world, and has bound up its wounds and set it on the road to full health.

The Road to New Creation, Sermon, Durham Cathedral, Durham, UK, September 3, 2006.

Wendell Berry

Having hope is hard;

harder when you get older.

Keas Keasler

The great hope of Christianity is not that we get to escape all the suffering of the world, but that God is going to use us to be a part of his healing project…

Honey, We’ve Shrunk the Gospel, For the Kingdom (blog)

Robert Louis Wilken

The singular mark of patience is not endurance or fortitude but hope. To be impatient . . . is to live without hope. Patience is grounded in the Resurrection. It is life oriented toward a future that is God’s doing, and its sign is longing, not so much to be released from the ills of the present, but in anticipation of the good to come.

The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 284.

John D. Zizioulas

[The Christian Faith] has its roots in the future and its branches in the present.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

Fredrick Langbridge

Because of this we have hope:

Two men look out through the same bars

One sees mud, one sees stars.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

No sign that ever was given

To faithful or faithless eyes

Showed ever beyond clouds riven

So clear a paradise.

Earth’s creeds may be seventy times seven

And blood have defiled each creed

But if such be the kingdom of heaven

It must be heaven indeed.

Of Such Is the Kingdom of Heaven

Laura Sobiech

“[Zach] had gone from seeing beauty in the midst of suffering to creating it. He had taken this thing that could have suffocated him with despair and stripped it down until all that was left was hope.”

Fly a Little Higher

N.T. Wright

The solid facts about the future hope of Christians are a powerful motivation for constant faith and costly love in the present.

Max Lucado

Jesus gives us hope because he keeps us company, has a vision, and knows the way we should go.

Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

R.C. Sproul

Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.

John Donne

Bring us, O Lord, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginning, but one equal eternity; in the habitation of thy glory and dominion, world without end.

Quoted in John Polkinghorne, The God of Hope and the End of the World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002), 98.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

So the first and most basic task of the Christian leader in the future will be to lead his people out of the land of confusion into the land of hope. Therefore, he must first have the courage to be an explorer of the new territory in himself and to articulate his discoveries as a service to the inward generation.

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society, Image, 1979.

Jennie Allen

Doubt steals hope. And with no hope, everything that matters doesn’t feel as important anymore.

Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts, WaterBrook, 2020.

D. Douglas Meeks

Hope orients all thought, action, and relationships to God’s ultimate redemption of the creation and to the ultimate communion with the triune God…hope is the steady orientation to God’s making all things new in the “constant communion” God creates with us and with the whole creation.

Wesleyan Perspectives on the New Creation. Kingswood Books, 2004.

Source Unknown

I believe in the sun though it is late in rising.

I believe in love though it is absent.

I believe in God though He is silent.

Unsigned Inscription in a Cave Near Cologne, Where Jews had been hiding.

Billy Graham

People by nature build, tear down, and rebuild. We build our hopes, get disappointed, and then search for renewed hope.

Peace for Each Day, Thomas Nelson, 2020.

C.S. Lewis

Hope is one of the Theological virtues. A  continual looking forward to the eternal world is not as some modern people think, a form of escapism or wishful thinking. But it’s one of the great things a Christian is meant to do. If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were those who thought the most of the next. And it is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.

Mere Christianity

Jonathan Sacks

It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope.

Celebrating Life

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