We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and this hope does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:3-5)
On Monday we looked at the kind of hope that will only disappoint us, because that hope is put in imperfect people and things that are much smaller than God. Today we will plumb the depths of a hope that cannot and will not disappoint, because that hope rests on the only perfect One, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ Himself. And for that truth, we must be eternally thankful.
When the Bible speaks of “hope,” we are to understand it as a calm, confident assurance that our good God is working all things together for our good, no matter what. Scripture does not present the word hope in the way you and I typically use it, meaning that we wish something will or won’t happen (such as, “I hope it won’t rain during the picnic”). Our worldly use of the word “hope” is grounded in uncertainty.
In Scripture, hope is as certain as the sunrise, and because this hope springs from the heart of God, we can rest assured that it cannot fail, it cannot falter, and it absolutely will not disappoint. This holy hope that springs forth from our Holy God is the message we must preach to ourselves, not just daily, but moment by moment. It is, as the psalmist shows us, a kind of arguing within the soul, what I call preaching to yourself:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God.” (Psalm 42:5 NKJV)
Our sinful nature is continually cast down and daily disquieted, which is why we must be proactive and intentional about keeping our hope in God before us. We must see it, we must speak it, and we must savor it, regardless of the circumstances we are facing in life. We must always see this hope that cannot disappoint like the author of Hebrews, who wrote, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). You see, this hope that is rooted in Jesus is full of faith, and the faith that is rooted in Jesus is full of hope . . . a sure and certain hope that will never disappoint.
So as you ready yourself for Thanksgiving tomorrow, would this not be a good time to prayerfully consider just how thankful you truly are to the One who has given you this hope? Remember, the certainty of this hope that promises the blessings of God comes through the presence of the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). And if this message finds you in a season of storm winds and challenges, remember the ultimate hope: the return of Christ, who will wipe every tear from our eyes and promises us an eternity with no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more death. Oh, what a glorious hope we have that cannot disappoint, because our hope is in Jesus!
I pray that you will have a hope-filled Thanksgiving.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!