A Hope that is Forever

“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 been given to us.”


Romans 5:2–5

In Romans 5:1-5 we discover the word hope three times.  In vs. 2 we see that we are invited to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  In vs. 3 we are invited to “rejoice in our suffering.”  And then in vs. 5 we are told that this hope will not put us to “shame,” or as the NIV translates it “not disappoint us.” 


Hope is that ability to look ahead and know that things are going to be OK.  This is what Jesus promised.  Jesus, through whom all things were made, in which nothing was made that was made, extends to us a promise and that promise is that our hunger and our thirst and the deepest longings of our heart will be filled through Him. 


As we journey with Jesus in this life and go through tough times, we know according to the word of God that those difficulties are not an end in and of themselves.  Romans 5:2 tells us that they produce something that is very important to God.  They produce character and hope which we need in life’s journey.


Peter in his first letter told us when looking at our future salvation that “in this you rejoice though now for a little while, if necessary you have been grieved by various trials so that your faith may be proved genuine.”  In the letter of Hebrews we read that when Jesus went to the cross with a joy set before Him, and that joy was knowing that His suffering would result in man’s salvation.


When we suffer or face difficulty, they have a way of weeding out those things in our hearts that are superficial and empty.  For us to cultivate God’s hope, God in His love must allow things in our lives so we can see the emptiness of the world and be fully devoted to Him in everything.   When that happens we are transformed.


In Romans 5:5 we read also that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”   When we receive Jesus by faith, we are not only forgiven of sin and given a brand new destination of heaven and resurrection, but are indwelt by God Himself.  


When the Holy Spirit abides in us and yield to Him, then instead of being a complaining negative people, we learn to rejoice in suffering and rejoice in the hope promised. When we do that through the power of the Holy Spirit, He sanctifies or changes us.  And one of those changes is that we become a joy filled contented people, learning to extend hope to a hopeless generation.  Amen