Hope Eternal

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5 ESV).

This is one of my favorite Bible passages, but for the longest time I had difficulty understanding how “character produces hope.” I followed up to the “endurance produces character” part, but how do the difficult experiences that forge character make us more hopeful?

The cynic in me felt that it was more likely to be the other way around. I realized that life was going to throw me some curveballs. I didn’t expect things to be all sunshine and roses. I didn’t think of that as a bad thing, but it wasn’t exactly “hope.”

It dawned on me recently that I frequently settle for a superficial meaning of the word: “I hope we have good weather tomorrow.” “I hope things work out for you.” The way the word “hope” has come to be used, it can have an almost fatalistic ring to it. The things we hope for may or may not work out, so especially when we have little or no control over the outcome, we might as well “hope,” because that’s about all we can do.
But the apostle Paul is not talking about the wishful thinking kind of hope here. He’s talking about hope of the Gospel. It’s hope that is grounded in faith in God’s love and loving plan for us personally and for humankind. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul writes, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” It’s when we face difficulties and the bleak, blank times of life that hope in the deepest, truest sense shines brighter, stronger. This is how the deepening and shaping of our character produces hope.

Then we won’t shrink from the trials of life or be apprehensive in times of uncertainty. The hope that “does not put us to shame” will never let us down. Why? Because it comes to us through God’s love, which “has been poured into our hearts.” From that love springs faith, hope, and yet more love. It’s a beautiful, perfect cycle, an ongoing exchange of hope and trust that God has given to carry us through life, closer to Him.

Romans 5:3-4 ESV / More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Hebrews 10:36 ESV / For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

James 1:2-4 ESV / Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

7 Comments

  1. March 18, 2015, 8:27 pm   /  Reply

    Thank God that we don’t stand or depend on our own wishful “hope”because we have no control of matters and situations. However we have the true hope of Gods love for us and He is faithful to complete His work in us. In the meantime our character is being molded to be more Christlike. Praise God!!

  2. Lusila Soa
    March 17, 2017, 9:38 pm   /  Reply

    Thank you so much for the encouragement worfs, or verse of day.
    Really helpful for me and my family.

  3. Jackyb
    March 17, 2017, 11:17 pm   /  Reply

    Thank you so much for this encouragement words, is really what I needed to hear today..God bless you .

  4. olumide
    March 18, 2017, 1:10 am   /  Reply

    message with a landmark.

  5. March 18, 2017, 7:06 am   /  Reply

    I keep wondering if i can make it any further and all of the sudden another storm have passed.

  6. Charles Johnson
    March 18, 2017, 11:57 am   /  Reply

    It is this hope in God word that keeps us saved and serving Him

  7. Lawrence hanrahan
    March 18, 2017, 7:53 pm   /  Reply

    I am hoping for My pray to be answered in the blessed neme of Jesus Christ of the world i truest in your word amen thank you my Lord amen

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