Summary: Have you ever wondered why it is so important to hope in God? Many people place their hope in parents when they are young, in their peers when they are teenagers and in their careers as they mature. Most people learn too late about the futility of placing
1. Have you ever wondered why it is so important to hope in God? Many people place their hope in parents when they are young, in their peers when they are teenagers and in their careers as they mature. Most people learn too late about the futility of placing their hope in anyone but Jesus Christ.
There is nothing sadder than to see a person whose best hopes have been dashed to pieces. That is exactly what will happen to everyone who does not learn to place hope in God. Even many Christians continue to rest a relatively small percentage of their total hope in God and His will for their life.
Paul wrote, “Character produces hope and such hope never disappoints.” (vs. 4,5)
A person with a Godly character has many reasons to become increasingly hopeful. Paul wrote, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16)
Godly character produces an increasing measure of expectation of what the Lord will do in and through and with us. Hope boosts our sense of worth, confidence and optimism.
Hopeful people have an eager expectation of God’s continuous directing, protecting and fruitfulness. Spiritual hope helps us transfer our trust away from fallible people toward the unfailing promises of God.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you teach others about the many reasons to place more hope in God and less in other things.
2. Paul taught the Romans that hope is based in God’s reliable attributes.
The best way a person can become more hopeful is to get increase in their intimate knowledge of the Lord’s character qualities.
Spend time every morning worshipping Him for His holiness, truth, love, grace, omnipotence, omniscience and all sufficiency. I begin every day praising God with a list of 85 attributes of the Holy One by meditating on key verses in the scripture that relate to each characteristic.
Use a concordance to find key verses throughout the Bible that highlight the key attributes of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. David wrote, “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. 43:5)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you grow in hope as you grow in the knowledge of His character qualities.
3. Paul taught the Romans that hope grows as they meditate on God’s promises. Our hope is guaranteed by God’s promised love that is manifested through the 7,000 promises given to us throughout the Scripture. However, most people continue to spend more time talking and thinking and reading about problems than promises.
Peter wrote, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through the true knowledge of Christ who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has given to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Pet. 1:3,4)
When we focus more on the promises of God and less on our evil desires we grow in hope. The most optimistic people in the world are those who see everything through the lens of the promises of God. Ask the Lord to help you meditate more on the promises of God and less on the evil desires of men.
4. Paul taught the Romans that hope that grows out of Godly character helps one adapt and grow in any situation. The great truth about hope in God is that it is not diminished by circumstances, criticisms or misfortunes.
The great apostle teaches that tribulations have a way of producing a brighter hope that shines through all the darkness around it. Hopeful people in desperate times are given a greater opportunity to share their testimony of confidence in Christ.
Even though people of the world may mock a Christian’s hope it is the light that urges us forward even in the valley of the shadow of death.
Application; Ask the Lord to allow hardships to give you a greater platform to hold forth the hope found in the word of life to those around you.
5. Paul taught the Romans that hope does not disappoint or delude or shame. Christians have a continual renewing sense of hope that transcends any problem. God in His wisdom and love fulfills our hope as we have victory in Jesus regardless of our difficulties.
We look forward to an eternity with Him, serving Him, loving Him, worshipping Him and being like Him. This hope allows us to carry out all of our duties and challenges with the confident expectation that God is at work in us both to will and do of His good pleasure.
Application: Hope cheers the faint-hearted and encourages the discouraged mind. Ask the Lord to help you inspire others to grow in hopeful thinking, attitudes and behavior.