by Pastor David
“I hope it rains today.” “I hope I do well on this test.” “We’re hoping the results come back negative.” From the trivial to the most profound longings, hope colors every facet of all of our lives. Whether you think about it or not, hope is an attitude that anchors much of your life. When you lose hope you lose your grip on life. Beyond just wishful thinking, hope informs the foundation of our dreams and expectations. That hope is challenged by our circumstances, however, and most particularly by our suffering.
Job stands as a classic example of how hope and suffering collide. From the beginning of the book, Job longs to have his hope met (Job 6:8). Ultimately he expects to know why God has afflicted him and to be vindicated as innocent of any wrongdoing. In 13:15, Job famously says, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him,” and then proceeds to spend the rest of the book battling to live out that confidence. Job illustrates well for us what it is like to lose hope in the midst of chronic suffering. He compares God’s destruction of his hope to waters slowly wearing away stones, or floods washing away the soil of the earth (Job 14:19). If the suffering of your life has been slowly wearing away your hope, chipping away piece by piece your confident expectations of God’s goodness, consider your biblical hope.
Romans 5:1-4 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has
What does hope provide?
Because of the Gospel, your hope can give you joy. Our peace with God, based on our faith in Jesus and not our works, and our grace from God, based on our faith in Jesus and not our works, lets us hope that we will know the glory of God. And our hope in our own future glorification with God, as well as the experience of being in His glory, leads us to rejoicing.
Our hope is not just for the sweet by and by, however. It’s also for the nasty now and now. Notice how Paul says that the chain reaction of our suffering ends in hope. Hope not only gives us joy as we consider the future, but it gives us confidence as we face the present. We will never need to fear being shamed, or that our hope in Christ is empty and impotent. Your hope in God is not misplaced, because He has already proven His love for you. He poured that love into our hearts by giving us His Spirit.
Biblical hope can give you joy and confidence. In God’s wise plan, suffering doesn’t have to erode our hope; instead, it forges and deepens it. Next week, we’ll consider where to get hope and what we should hope in.