“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5:3-6
A word thrown around pretty glibly and lightly in everyday use.
I hope this happens ….
I hope you will ….
I hope we receive ….
I hope I can ….
I hope ….
This version of the word is a longing for something, a looking forward to something
This version of the word is something that is on the way to what I want or need.
This version of the word proclaims my desires but does not act towards an end goal.
I have lots of hopes for our family and for girlie, lots of desires, lots of wishes. For that is what they all are – just wishes. Wishes that will go unfulfilled in this life, here on this earth. Wishes that swamp my heart with emotion. Wishes that can consume when I dwell on them.
This kind of hope anticipates without action, like wishing on a star.
But God uses HOPE so differently.
God’s version of HOPE comes at the END of this list of, well, really hard things – tribulations, patience, and change of who I am.
“Tribulations brings about Perseverance.”
Modern translation: Tough hard places, suffering brings about patience
Ok, got it. Makes sense. Suffering, my child suffering, my family suffering, teaches patience (well maybe forces patience I might tell you some days).
Perseverance brings about proven character.
Modern translation: Patience then brings about God shaping my heart, giving me some character qualities HE wants there.
Ok, makes sense. Waiting on the Lord does that, forces my heart in rhythm with His, forces my steps in sync with His.
Proven character brings about HOPE, and “HOPE does not disappoint”.
HOPE is the DESTINATION. the END GOAL.
There is nothing after HOPE! Hope is where God wants us to stay!
What is this hope? The better question is WHO is this hope?
Scripture gives a brief description of this HOPE in verse 5 – it does not disappoint “because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts, through the Holy Spirit.”
The next verse gives the biggest clue, verse 6 states “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
The HOPE that suffering, patience, and character lead us to? Jesus.
It leads us to the cross. It leads us to the message of salvation, one time sacrifice of Christ on the cross, which is one time and done for ALL.
Suffering, patience, and character – lead to Jesus. The person of true and real HOPE.
All my wishes and desires in this one person, this one who died and bleed for me.
Living in the HOPE – living in the person of Jesus because He is the ultimate hope.
Pray with me:
God, thank you for your version of Hope – the person of Jesus. Thank you for his sacrifice for us, and thank you that salvation is all I need, and where I should stay.