1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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 5:1-5 (ESV)
Hope – the joyous anticipation of something we have not yet received, but know in faith that we will obtain.
Faith – “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1, ESV).
The two go hand in glove. Indeed, the Greek root word elpis is translated 53 times in the New Testament as “hope” and once as “faith.” And, while the two terms are interrelated, they are not interchangeable. We hope for specific outcomes. And, in faith, we know we will receive what we hope for.
It is hope that lifts our hearts. As Paul points out, we begin with faith in Jesus Christ, whom the apostle refers to as “our hope” several times in the New Testament. Through faith and hope, we change our view of the suffering we face in life, seeing it through God’s eyes. After all, as believers, our ultimate goal has nothing to do with this life – a mere vapor. No material thing on this earth is of any value compared to the riches of God (which are our eternal inheritance).
When we suffer, we grow in endurance. Its like the old saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” Not only will we strengthen in spirit and soul, but in character as well. As we face trials in life and see that the Lord works through us – even if the problem persists, we have an even stronger faith, and even greater hope. When we realize that just because we do not see God doesn’t mean He isn’t working, that His will is what is important, then we can rest easy in the hopeful faith that every aspect of our lives is in God’s hands and, no matter how situations may seem, no matter how great the pain or difficulty, He is here.
He is with us.
He is our strength.
He is our endurance.
He is our hope.
Today’s encouragement is simple: hang in there. Know that God hears your every prayer. Even David knew this: “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalms 18:6, ESV).
Cling to this: what you are going through now is not permanent. This won’t last forever. You will get through this. The light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. It is hope.
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)
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