…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.
We are people of hope, living with varying degrees of hope. Today, I hope I get to my appointments and home safely. I hope to get much of my task list completed. I hope that today will be a good day. I hope that my wife and youngest son overcome their sickness.
Because of hope, we live our lives and make our decisions. When our hopes are realized, we live with confidence and gratitude and happiness. When our hopes are frustrated or put us to shame, joy is suffocated and despair begins to creep in. This is why it is so important to place our ultimate hope in something that will not put us to shame. Our surface or circumstantial hopes are not fixed— they may be disappointed. But there is a hope that will not disappoint. There is an ultimate hope upon which we can set our greatest trust, and it is peace with God now, which leads to an anticipation of seeing God’s glory in the future. This is the hope that does not disappoint, that does not put us to shame.
Our hope is grounded in what God has already done. He has brought us into relationship with him on the basis of his grace, because Jesus died and rose again for us. In this life, through trials and difficulties, our hope in God will be refined, and we will be changed. We will learn endurance, knowing that we have peace with God, and one day we will see him face to face. As we endure, our character is changed to look more and more like Jesus. Through the process of trials, our trust in God’s future for us increases, and so does our gratitude and our joy.
In the midst of the trials, the Holy Spirit is at work in us, giving power to endure, reminding us of God’s love for us. In fact, the Spirit’s very presence in our lives is the love of God poured out.
We can’t help living by hope in circumstantial improvements. We are a hope-driven people. But, the call of the gospel is to place our ultimate hope in God. God is the one hope, which will never disappoint and never put us to shame.
What are your hopes for today? List them out. Now, from the core of your being, consciously place your ultimate hope in your peace with God. Rest your ultimate security, not in what good can happen today, but in the immoveable peace that God has secured for you with him.
We invite you to attend a worship service at FCC on Sundays at 9 and 11 am.