Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Hope is a state of waiting and anticipating for something to happen. 2020 was a year full of waiting to see what would happen next and anticipating for those things to be unfavorable. Our hope that things would work out well was challenged on every front. God’s word wisely provides us with a promise and plan for renewed peace and hope.
In the old testament the Hebrew word for hope is “qavah”, conveying hope built on tension and expectation of what is to come. In the new testament the Greek word used for hope is “elpis”. Elpis is hope in a favorable outcome or having confident expectation of what is to come. Elpis hope is based on confidence in God’s unfailing deliverance. As we emerge from Covid’s destructive impact, how are we preparing to step forward with elpis hope of a confident, favorable future?
Hope for Better Days
The church in Romans 5 was going through a great deal of suffering – persecution, false teaching, and division. What can we learn from how the church in Romans responded to their challenges to help us face today’s challenges? The scriptures make clear that the challenges we face are meant to propel us to develop perseverance, character, and hope. Suffering is not intended by God to create a crushed, hopeless people. If we look at our suffering as God does and as he demonstrated to us through Jesus’ life, our suffering should result in glory to God. This is only possible if we shift our perspective away from how we feel to focus on what is God’s will. Maintaining a spiritual, hopeful character requires a resolute and uncompromising viewpoint (see 2 Timothy 2:16 and Colossians 2:9-10). When we commit to elpis hope, God can work through us to bring about the peace and unity He wants for His people (Ephesians 4:2-4).
Hope for Future Glory
The hardships we faced in 2020 and continue to face take a huge toll on everyone. They hurt us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Though it will take time for our wounds to heal, God’s word gives us assurance that our sufferings should ultimately result in hope. Romans 5:3 says “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” There is no short cut provided to avoid the process of going through the suffering to get to hope. Instead, we are guided to lean into our hardships and allow God to bring us through to the other side where glory and hope reside.
Elevate Your Hope
Q: What are some difficult things you may be facing that cause you to suffer? Are you losing hope that you can persevere through them and grow?
Q: Pray and fast for 3 days for God to give you direction on what He is teaching you and for clarity on how to move forward in hope.
Practical: Write down what you think would be a favorable outcome to what might be troubling you from your perspective and from God’s perspective? What is the future state He wants you to get to that will bring Him the most glory?
Thanks for reading this Christian Blog series: “Sermonized”. We will have a blog post every Monday ready for your quiet time!
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