“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).
People hope for so many different things. Some children hope they will receive certain toys at Christmas, while other children hope to have water to drink on a given day. Some adults hope to have opportunities to give time and energy to their recreational life, while other adults hope their children turn from their time of rebellion and recognize the love they are getting from their parents. No matter what degree of hope, the person who is hoping feels a significant longing and desire.
Hope is also something that is an obsession for many. The hope they are experiencing reveals a deeper, more broken condition in their heart. What they hope in reveals what is the treasure in their heart. It oftentimes reveals that they are not content with the life they are living. They are not content with God’s sovereign plan for their life.
No matter the amount of hope one feels, hope is a natural longing to experience in this broken world. Yet, as Christians, of all the people in the world who have something to hope in, we have one who is the anchor in which our hope rests. Hope for the Christian is not an unfounded desire. It is not desiring something that is merely a fantasy. For Christians, hope is not just what our God offers, but hope is who God is. This is why Paul says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and believing.” He is the God of hope. He is the one in whom our hope rests.
Our worries about the future are put to rest because of the hope that we have in Christ. No matter what our current situation is, we know that our future hope is founded in Christ, which means that whether we live or whether we die, we know that our future is secure. If only that hope translated into true peace in all difficult situations. When peace is not found in those hopes, there is only one place to turn: we must turn to God.
Not only are our worries about the future put to rest when our hope is placed in the Lord, but our worries about the present are put to rest because of the hope we have in God’s present promises. Consider the promises of God given to us that apply to us today. “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). I could go on and on, because the promises of God are numerous, and they are sure, because God is faithful.
Let me challenge you to be people of hope. Of all the people in this world, we are the ones who should show the most steadfast faith. We are the ones who should not buckle under pressure, or fold in adversity, or worry in difficulty. We are the ones who have the Creator of the Universe as the one who we can hope in. As Paul Tripp said, “Hope is not a thing, not a location, not a situation, not an experience. Hope is a person, and his name is Jesus.”