Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Hope that does not Disappoint

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:1-5
Have you ever read, really read Romans 5:1-5? I love the progression in these verses. This passage starts off with peace with God, and ends with hope. Just the first two verses of Romans 5 alone show that the chasm between God an man has been bridged: through Jesus, by our faith into His grace. Hope comes next. Hope in the glory of God. Our hope for our future. But we don't live in the future, we live in the present. Before we have the glory of God, we live here, work here, play here, celebrate here, and even suffer here. This is where the progression of this passage is great-for we still have hope!

We will suffer, yes, but we can exult in our trials and tribulation. What happens when we "exult in our tribulations" we begin the progression that ends in hope. Hard times teach us to overcome. Overcoming shows our character as a Christian, it proves who we are. Our character gives hope. Hope to not just us, but to those around us who see this progression lived out. And do you know what hope doesn't do? Hope does not disappoint. Our hope, when properly placed in Jesus, will not disappoint us. It won't disappoint us because of the Holy Spirit. Verse 5 states that "the love of God has been poured out within our hearts". God's love is in us already because of the grace we have through Jesus, which is our hope, and hope does not disappoint.