The God of Hope
We find ourselves at a period in history when it is easy to question hope in the midst of worldly peril. While even a brief study of centuries past would remind us that our age is not the worst, darkest, most evil age that has ever been experienced, with our limited perspectives we are apt to grow concerned, distracted, and anxious. We would do well to read the apostle Paul’s words as an indirect prayer for our daily lives: that the God of endurance might grant us encouragement in times of fear and uncertainty by filling us with all joy and peace.
The book of Romans, Paul’s greatest theological treatise, was written to a diverse congregation in Rome made up of Jews and Gentiles, men and women, and rich and poor, all of varying levels of spiritual maturity. As he reached the end of his glorious letter, Paul wanted to call them to live confidently as people marked by a distinct and abounding hope.
We find such hope simply by knowing our God. He is our God of hope for two reasons.
First, it is God who generates hope in us. His word “was written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4) so that we might think about and learn from His unchanging trustworthiness. Hope, endurance, encouragement, and peace are not commodities outside of ourselves; rather, in giving us Himself, dwelling in our hearts by His Spirit, God gives us all these things, which well up from inside.
Second, He is also the object of our hope. The prophet Jeremiah said in the midst of his own dreadful circumstances, “The LORD is my portion … therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24). The psalmist agreed when he wrote in response to the disheartening circumstances that surrounded him: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). In other words, it doesn’t matter how long difficulty lingers in our lives; if we have God, He is ours for eternity, and He is enough for eternity.
The God whom we meet in Scripture is therefore the God of hope—a hope that is neither superficial nor fleeting. Our enduring Savior stands the test of time.
When you face a crisis, you quickly discover where your hope is placed. If your faith rests on the promises of God, then your hope will be grounded in those promises, and it will not be disappointed. It will abound through all the trials of life. It doesn’t matter what fear parades before your eyes; you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your God, who brought the world into being and brought you from death to life, preserves it and sustains you by His power.
It is in God alone that true hope can be found. And it is in looking to Him that we find ourselves filled with all joy and peace—today and every day, on into eternity.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
God Is Our Fortress
To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.1 A Song.
1God is our refuge and strength,
a very present2 help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
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