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Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

by Mark Ottaway on February 12, 2018

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but 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 5:1-5 (ESV)

Paul says that we are to “hope in the glory of God,” and that “hope does not put us to shame.” Our lives seem to be filled with hope. We hope that our children will do well, that we would have a great marriage, that we would be healthy and wealthy, and that life would treat us well. Hope is defined as “to desire, to wish, to want, and to expect,” yet the Bible’s view of hope is much stronger than this as it does not present any kind of uncertainty. That term “does not put us to shame” (vs 5) literally means that biblical hope will never disappoint. The basis for our hope, Paul argues is not based upon only the future, but it is based upon things that have already occurred in our lives, things that effect the past, the present, and the future.

First he says that we have “peace with God” (vs 1). God is no longer angry with us. God is no longer our enemy. The barrier between God and us has been taken down, and therefore the true believer in Christ has an everlasting peace with his Creator. Secondly, God has extended grace to us (vs 2). In fact, it even says that we stand in this grace. In other words, not only has God forgiven and justified us, but He continually sustains us; so that there is no fear for the true believer in Christ. And the promise of God is as sure as His immutable nature—the truth that He will never change—and means that His promise to us will never change. This security is not based upon us, but it is based upon the power and promise of God.

Thirdly, the Father has placed love into our hearts. Notice that it was not given to us sparingly, but it “has been poured into our hearts” (vs 5). This abundant love was first demonstrated to us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8). This was not something that we instigated; this was predetermined to us before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20). Finally, the Lord did not do something for us in the past, and promise us heaven in the future, and leave us to ourselves in the interim. No, He has given to us the indwelling Holy Spirit (vs 5). The disciples experienced Christ firsthand, and were able to walk with Him, speak with Him, laugh and cry with Him, and were taught face-to-face by their Master. Yet when Christ left them, He said that this was to their advantage, so that the Holy Spirit would come (John 16:7). In other words, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is an even greater blessing than walking with Christ Himself! No wonder the songwriter wrote, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” as the believer’s hope is not only for the future but sustains each and every day. “Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”

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