S23P13 – The abundant life: hope
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
There is a common experience among humankind to which we all can relate. We have plans and dreams of things we want to accomplish or attain. We work hard and connect with the right people and take the responsible steps in the hope of reaching whatever that great goal might be. However, there is only so much within our control. Life is unpredictable, and we can only guess how well any of our best laid plans will turn out. We can be fully prepared and fully informed and fully committed, but it does not mean that the thing hoped for will be attained or achieved. Sometimes our high hopes only end in disappointment. As a wise person once observed, there are no guarantees in life. And perhaps that may be so for this natural life, but we certainly have guarantees in our spiritual lives.
In this verse, Paul tells us that hope does not disappoint. This is a bold statement, but it is true. He is speaking of a specific type of hope, and that is the hope that we have as those who have been saved from sin and death by Jesus Christ. This is the hope of eternal freedom from evil and the gift of spending eternity with God. There are many scriptures that point to this hope, and Paul’s statement here is critical to understanding the significance of what they claim. The promises we read in the Bible are not there simply to encourage and comfort us. Those promises are God’s actual guarantees to us. We do not hope for these things without the knowledge that they will indeed come to pass. We hope for these things because we know that we will receive them. The hope we have for our eternal reward is a hope that comes with a guarantee. We look forward to spending eternity with God because we know that his promise is true. This is no gamble, and there are no risks. This is a sure thing.
As Christians, our hope is abundant because it is secure. We do not have to question the magnitude of God’s love for us when the scriptures tell us the lengths to which that love went to show itself to us. We do not have to question God’s willingness or ability to keep his promises when the scriptures tell us how He fulfilled the greatest prophecies through his Son Jesus Christ. After centuries of letting his people know how He would save them, He then saved them. Our Father in heaven is one who cannot be doubted because He cannot disappoint. It goes against his very nature of love and holiness to go back on any promise. If God gives us something to hope for it is because He will be faithful to bring it to completion. Father, thank You that the hope You give us is secure, and make us people who can rely on that hope without doubt.