“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” — Romans 5:1–5 (NIV84)
A whole lot was said in these verses — too much to address in one devotion — so today we look at what Paul was saying about hope. Paul told us three distinct things about hope. First, we can rejoice in the certain hope of seeing God in His glory when we get to Heaven. We can be certain of that because we have been justified with God through our faith in Jesus Christ, and therefore we can have peace. Our faith clings to Jesus’ death and resurrection. We believe, with no doubt, that Jesus bore all our sins and their consequences on the cross so that when God looks at us today He sees us as perfect in His sight. We have been made right with Him by what Jesus has done for us, and therefore, we can have peace.
Second, we know our certain hope grows through suffering. I know this doesn’t make sense in our minds sometimes, but it is essentially true. Even in our suffering God proves Himself faithful. He promises to be with us, and He is. He promises to provide for our body and soul, and He does. As we go through the steps of suffering and gain perseverance and character, He also strengthens our hope. Again, like in the first point, our hope is not rooted in our faithfulness but in God’s. He has proved in the lives of the saints who lived before us, and in our own lives, that He graciously gets us through our trials and suffering.
Third, our hope will never disappoint us because God has put His Holy Spirit in us so that He can pour His love into our hearts. Every moment of every day God immerses us in His love. The Holy Spirit resides in us to continually remind us of God’s grace. This last reason for hope is also based on what God has done/is doing for us. Our hope is certain because God is certain! As God pours His love into our hearts our faith is nourished and our hope is made more certain.
Today, no matter what this day brings, may our hope be anchored in God’s certain love, providence, and redemption.