A People of Hope

MEMORY VERSE: “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” —I Peter 3:15

ROMANS 5:1-5; 8:18-25

HOPE is defined as a desire with expectation of obtaining what is desired. A Christian’s hope has its beginning in the promises of God found in his Word. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 5:1-5, says that there are really four things that give assurance to the Christian’s hope.

Verse 1 states, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The word peace has the thought of being “set at one again.” Every consecrated Christian knows what it is like to be out of harmony with God, for all were “children of wrath” before receiving the benefit of the blood of Christ by faith. Conversely, all consecrated Christians know the peace of mind and heart that comes from being reconciled with God. The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:7, states “And the peace of God, whom passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This peace comes from knowing God and being able to have fellowship with him through his Word. This wonderful condition of mind and heart is a real confirmation of the Christian’s hope.

In verse 2 the apostle says, “Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” (RSV) It is through Jesus that the Christian is enabled to stand before God, being justified by faith in the merit of Jesus’ blood. This condition in itself is confirmation of our hope to be with Jesus and to see him as he is. The Apostle John expresses this hope for us. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”—I John 3:2,3

In verses 3 and 4 the Apostle Paul says, But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” This is a profound statement by the Apostle Paul. The implication is that we should bask in the favor of God and the glorious hope of one day being with him and sharing in the great work of the kingdom; but we should also glory, or rejoice greatly, in the tribulations that are promised to every child of the Lord, because it is through tribulations—trials under difficult and trying circumstances—that we learn to wait on the Lord. Waiting on the Lord is the equivalent of exercising patience.

Patience in its ultimate sense expresses complete submissiveness to the Heavenly Father’s will and confidence in his overruling providences in the lives of his people. With this attitude of mind the Christian is prepared to realize that “This thing is from Me,” and to look for the lesson and for God’s overruling providence in the experience.

These experiences then give a basis for our hope and make the prospect of receiving our desire more of a reality, for we gradually learn that “He is faithful that promised.”

Then in verse 5 we read, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.” A hope that is thus developed and strengthened becomes a tangible reality in our minds and a force that motivates and directs our lives. We are moved to serve and worship in a manner that is not inhibited by doubts and fears.

We can also say with the apostle: “If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. … For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come … shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Rom. 8:31-39

Truly the Lord’s people are a people of hope!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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