“For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. As it is written, ‘Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name….’ 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 15:8, 9, 13
Hope is hard. Some days it is difficult to look at the future and see positive things, much less to see great things. But this passage says we can hope because of what Christ has done. He came to show God’s truthfulness. In His life, He showed what God’s truth really is. He is the Truth. He came to confirm His promises. He fulfilled all the prophecies in the old testament. And in doing so, He showed that we can trust every single thing He promises to us. And He came to show His mercy. The Gentiles get to glorify God for the mercy He has shown them. Christ died for us all. If He has paid for our past, then we have hope for our future.
I think many times hope is hard to come by, because we look at the days ahead through the lens of our own abilities. I don’t have the ability to make tomorrow any better than today, so why would it be? We see tomorrow through the lens of today’s troubles. Today they seem insurmountable. And if I can’t get past this, then how could tomorrow have any value? But just like the story of David and Goliath, when we stare at the giant, we are impressed by His strength and in fear of His power. But David looked not at the giant, but at God. He saw a God whose power is immeasurable, beside whom the giant is nothing. That gave him hope. And we have the same opportunity. We can look at Jesus. We can see how He showed God’s truthfulness, so we can believe. We can see how He fulfilled God’s promises, so we can trust. We can see how He showed mercy, how He gave good where none was deserved, and we can hope.
2 thoughts on “Romans 15: A Reason For Hope”
Great message on hope–something we all need on a daily (or sometimes moment-by-moment) basis. I just listened to an amazing sermon on Psalm 13 where the pastor encouraged us to have “audacity in the face of darkness that chooses to hope.” http://vimeo.com/36080192 We can’t work up that audacity–it comes from really believing that even though there is a big dragon out there ready to devour us, there is Someone bigger than the dragon who can fight the dragon for us. And we’ve already seen him win! (Can you tell I’ve been to Hutchmoot?)
Earlier today I read this by Ann Voskamp: “God’s mercies are new every morning — not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you. It’s right there in the sky every morning: Every sunrise proves the burn of His passionate heart.
The car can fail today and the kids and the dog and fire detector and the dishwasher and the doctor and the whole free democratic world and its entire economic system, but the mercies of God cannot and will not fail and His faithfulness is not merely great–
it is unwavering.
And the God who so loved this cracked world that He gave, He hasn’t ever stopped giving, and He won’t stop giving today and it’s His very mercy that gets us from one moment to the next and we’re all walking around in an atmosphere of brazen affection.”
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
I can see as I have the experiences of giving my life over to the Lord that He sustains and blesses me. We are to give our whole lives over to Him, trusting He is Who and What He says in His Word. As we do this on earth, it is a short leap in our last breaths to have hope in Him taking us all the way to heaven because we have lived Him fulfilling His promises over and over in our lives. My job for now is to continue to have patience and trust in Him so I can experience deliverance from the daily deaths I can encounter in an average day until my experiences are so numerous that I am always filled with hope concerning the next time He will “save” me. It is that hope which purifies our hearts.
Thanks so much!