According to Hebrews 11:1 faith and hope are linked together. They share the “conviction of things not seen”. This has caused many Christians to assume that hope for the Christian is an unrealized desire. A thing that we wish for, but do not yet possess. In a sense, this is true. However, the sense in which this is not true is what I believe we need to appreciate more. Hebrews 6:19 tells of a hope that is a sure and steadfast anchor. Anchored ships stay steady against the waves because of what they posses (the anchor). For Christians, our hope is not a wish, or even a mere strong desire, but it is a solid reality – a tree of life to those who posses it.
The reason that our hope is so present and powerful, is that we posses the content of the thing hoped for. In Colossians 1:27 Paul tells us that “Christ in [us]” is the Christians hope. Christ is the “tree of life“; the fountain of “living water“; the “life giving Spirit“. And our salvation brings us into full communion with Christ our head.
The earlier quote from Hebrews 6:19 closes by discussing the ability of the Christians hope to enter into heaven. While hope anchors our souls as a present, realized, blessing, it also has the ability to transport us to the eternal. John Gill says it well,
in heaven, which hope entering into fixes upon, are the person of Christ, who is entered there, and appears in the presence of God for his people; his blood which he has carried along with him, and by which he is entered there; his justifying righteousness, by which the law is fulfilled, the two tables of stone in the ark of the testimony; the sweet incense of his mediation, which is continually offered up by him; the mercy seat, or throne of grace, on which Jehovah sits as the God of grace; and all the glories of heaven; all which hope is concerned with, and receives strength and rigour from: and their being within the vail, is expressive of their hiddenness and invisibility at present, and of their safety and security, as well as of their sacredness; and this shows a difference between the hope of believers and others, whose hope fixes upon things short of these; and likewise the great privilege of a believer, who being made a priest unto God, has liberty and boldness to enter into the holiest of all.