Summary: Hope in God - Rom. 8:24,25 - Everything ultimately disappoints except the Lord
Hope in God - Rom. 8:24,25
Illustration:Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all...As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.
G.K. Chesterton, Signs of the Times, April 1993, p. 6.
1. Some people fail to realize how discouragement, dryness and frustration are related to a faulty sense of hope. A person who hopes in God cannot be overwhelmed by hurts from people because they are not looking to people for their source of satisfaction. The Lord never leaves us, forsakes us or fails us.
Paul teaches us how to overcome feelings of tiredness, sadness or hopelessness when he writes, "For in this hope we were saved…But if we have hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure." (Rom. 8:24,25)
No doubt Paul thought of what David wrote when he was tried and troubled, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." (Psa. 42:11) When our hope is totally in the Lord we are not disturbed when things do not go our way.
He is our Rock and constant spring of living water supplying us with everything we need. Paul and David abounded in hope despite their many trials, attacks and troubles.
These men were not like some of us that quickly give into discouragement when faced with adversity. Hope is built upon a confident faith that the Spirit will help us look towards better things to come. It visualizes all the good things that can be appropriated to our life through Christ.
Hope in God helps us base our expectation on all the characteristics of God instead of our circumstances or feelings. Ask the Lord to help you increase the quality and quantity of your hope as you praise Him for His wonderful attributes. Today I made a list of 120 of God’s attributes with accompanying scriptural references that anyone can freely use for their devotions. The better you know God the more you can praise Him.
Thank God we can sing, "My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."
2. Paul remembered that our roots of faith reach an inexhaustible reservoir of Christ’s grace, love and hope. When a person is consistently feeding from Christ’s living waters they are not overcome by dry spells.
David wrote, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (Psalm 1:3) People who hope in God have the confident expectation that regardless of what happens He will supply them with adequate supplies of emotional, mental and spiritual blessings. Remember the song, "Heaven and earth may pass away but Jesus never fails."
Learn to place less of your trust in people, things or yourself and more of your hope in God.
Illustration:A man sentenced to death obtained a reprieve by assuring the king he would teach his majesty’s horse to fly within the year--on the condition that if he didn’t succeed, he would be put to death at the end of the year. "Within a year," the man explained later, "the king may die, or I may die, or the horse may die. Furthermore, in a year, who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to fly."
Bernard M. Baruch.
3. Paul remembered that people who hope in God consistently bear good fruit. No doubt Paul thought of what Ezekiel wrote, "By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing." (Ezek. 47:12) Allow the Lord to help you yield a greater quantity and quality of spiritual fruit as you grow in your hope in God.
Illustration;There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
Clare Boothe Luce.
4. Paul teaches us that hope in God drives out despair and gives great patience. Too many people give into discouragement and become impatient for solutions to their problems. Take time every morning to focus your whole attention on the light in Christ. When you feel that darkness is closing in on you lift up your head and look to the light of God in Christ. He is a light at the end of every tunnel.