Hope is not "wishful thinking." In faith, hope is a reality that flows from God, is given by God, established and rooted in us as we believe in the One in whom we hope. Certainly there are times when our hope seems diminished because of human circumstances - these may be times where we are tempted to solve our own problems, or feel disappointment that God has not met our human expectations. These are the times when others can help us realign our focus on the only One who truly is our source of hope.
Abraham was given a promise of blessing, and that through him God would bless the nations. We hold this promise as well - that our lives are meant to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. Reflect on what being blessed means for you. Invite God to bless you today and to see how you might be a blessing to others!
Romans 4:18-25, 5:1-5, 15:13 NIV
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justiﬁcation.
Therefore, since we have been justiﬁed through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
May the God of hope ﬁll you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overﬂow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
For Refection and Prayer:
What word or phrase stood out to you as you read the text?
What thoughts have come to your attention as you have been listening/reading?
What promise(s) of God are you currently holding in hope?
How might our experience of suffering produce a deeper sense of hope?