And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5
This morning, I read a quote about hope from Paul David Tripp in my Bible study that stopped me in my tracks. This is what he said: “Hope is not a situation, a location, a feeling, or a relationship. Hope is a person, and His name is Jesus.” It is so true, isn’t it? This world will let us down; even the people who love us will disappoint us at times. When we put our hope in a situation, a relationship, or anything else on earth, we will end up disappointed at times. But, there is a better way to hope, and that way is Jesus.
The apostle Paul teaches us about hope in Romans 5. He begins this chapter by explaining to believers that they have been made right with God through the death of Jesus because of their faith in Him (verse 3-4). He then shifts to what happens when we experience hardships. Here is what he says: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (verses 3-4). What Paul is saying here, as counter-cultural as it sounds, is that when hard times come, we can rejoice, too. Why? Ultimately, trials grow us and teach us to hope. Verse 5 teaches us when trials come, we have to hold on to what we know to be true: that in the end, we know we have eternal life if we have placed our faith in Him. Nothing that happens on this earth can change that. This is the hope that you and I can hold on to in the darkest times.
Paul’s teaching does not end in verse 4. After teaching readers that hard times strengthen our confidence in the hope of salvation, He continues with a promise for those who hold on to hope. “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love” (verse 5). My friend, God’s hope will not lead to disappointment. Why? God loves us, and He gives salvation to all who believe in Him. The Holy Spirit is proof of salvation.
Even in the middle of our deepest heartache, even when life turns out differently than we hoped it would, we can still hold on to hope. God is still working, and we can have confidence that, regardless of the circumstances on this earth that we face, we know that we have eternal life with Him in the end. As Paul David Tripp said in the Bible study I read this morning, “Jesus is your hope as you live in a world where hope is a precious and rare commodity. Remember, you are connected to Him forever. This means there will be a day when you won’t have to hope anymore because the paradise you have hoped for will be the eternal reality in which you live.” Jesus is hope, and He will never disappoint us.
Sometimes when hope seems lost, we need to remind ourselves to hope. Commit to memorizing Romans 5:5 today. Let this verse become an anthem that you repeat over and over to yourself when hope seems lost. Then, find one friend who is struggling to hope today and share the verse with them. Let them know that, even in the darkest times, there is always hope because God is still in control and on the throne.
Romans 5:1-11 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
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