“A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” That is the dictionary definition of the word Hope. As we are working through the book of Romans, especially chapters 4,5, and 6, we realize that God has a great promise for us. The promise of justification through the blood of Christ! This is what gives us hope. Hope in our trials, hope in our stress, hope in our weariness, hope in our weakness, hope in our brokenness. We have great hope in the promise that the blood of Christ offers us.
As I looked specifically at Romans chapter 5, there was some phrasing that stood out to me. I kept seeing the phrases “not only so” and “how much more” repeated. Both of these indicate that there is a much GREATER promise available to us through Jesus Christ. I love the first 5 verses of chapter 5: “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 rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:1-5 (emphasis added by me)
The hope that we have in Christ makes even the hardest things we go through worth rejoicing in. We can be sure that each of these trials and tests are developing in us and reminding us of the HOPE we have of eternal life through Jesus Christ. I know this is a difficult scripture to grasp.
James also says in James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds”. Paul and James both knew that even in our trials, even when it seems like all hope is lost, we always have hope in the promise of eternal life. So take joy and have hope, even when the going gets tough!
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he
has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God
has promised those who love him.” James 1:12