I Sure Hope So...
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“I hope I get a prize in this caramel corn box…”
“I hope I’m not late to class…”
“I hope my family is not mad because I’m late for dinner…”
“I hope no one finds out I cheated on this test…”
“I hope God can forgive me for what I’ve done…”
We use the word ‘hope’ in so many ways that what we mean by this word could become confusing for some people. It’s such a powerful word, but we can dilute its power by using it in such diverse circumstances. We use this word when we have wishful thinking and we use it when we try to secure our desires.
In the old Webster’s dictionary, the noun hope is defined first as, ‘Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises.’ Another way to say this would be, ‘the firm assurance that God will do what He has said He will do.’ This differs from a wish because of this expectation or assurance of obtaining the object of hope.
Christians have this hope because the Holy Spirit powerfully works in us to give us hope. Romans 15:13 tells us that our God is ‘the God of hope.’ I think some people think of God as mean, angry, judgmental, or vengeful; but that is not the picture painted throughout Scripture. We have hope because God is the God of hope and we have hope because He fills us with joy and peace in believing through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
Christians can have hope in the midst of hardship and loss, because God remains the same, and fulfills His promises, no matter our circumstances. When our culture has so much division displayed in politics and social encounters, we have hope because our God of hope is also just and knows all things. While the pandemic rages around us and even takes some of us into its grips, as if it can steal our joy, we have hope because our God is sovereign and we know that to be at home with Christ is better than to be at home here in our ‘fleshly tents.’ When our bad habits, hang-ups, and hurts threaten to undo us and take us into chaotic living, we have peace because our God loves us and died to redeem us from everything that is evil.
‘Abounding in hope’ is how Romans 15:13 describes our outlook. In the New Testament the word ‘abounding’ means, ‘to have such an abundance as to be more than sufficient – to have more than enough, to have an overabundance.’ This is what God has for us when it comes to hope. We don’t need to work for ‘a little bit of hope’ or ‘some hope to just get by.’ No, God assures us that as the God of hope, He will fill us up with hope, because we have joy and peace, as we believe Him to be faithful.
Brothers and sisters, we all experience those times when circumstances seem to rob us of all hope, as if there is no way we can survive the pain, loss, loneliness, or fear. Thankfully, we serve THE GOD OF ALL HOPE. If we find our joy and peace in believing His promises, we can live with hope by His power. Here are just a few of the promises God has given to believers, so that we can abound in hope:
Answered prayer, John 15:7