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This passage deals with one of my favorite words in the Bible. Hope. I can’t imagine living without hope. Evidently Paul could not either. I see three things in this passage about hope that are worth thinking long and hard about…
Hope enables us to endure suffering (v.18) – I remember when I had a bout with kidney stones thinking to myself, one day this will all be over and I will be better. Hope. I imagine that the pain of childbirth for women is endurable because they know what is on the “otherside.” Hope. Even the disappointments and despair that comes with living in a fallen world is tempered by hope. Hope enables us to endure. When people lose hope, they lose the will to live. The gospel is gloriously good news because it is a gospel of hope!
Hope helps us make sense of “natural disasters” (v. 19-22) – Not that there are natural disasters – more like supernatural disasters. Even things like earthquakes and tsunamis and tornadoes and hurricanes are a call for hope as the creation itself goes through “birthpangs” in anticipation of its liberation from the bondage to decay. The awesome wrath that is manifest through these supernatural disasters are nothing compared to the wrath that will be displayed at the judgment. God allows such things in order to call us to the hope that awaits us in Jesus.
Hope fuels us to live with patience and eagerness (v. 23-25) – Because we are a people of hope we can deal with the things that this life throws at us differently than those who are without hope. We know that God is in control and we know that He is with us and we know that this is NOT where we belong – therefore we can display the character of God to a world that is clueless when it comes to understanding life.
We will get to this verse in a few chapters but I love what Paul says in Romans 15:13 – ” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 8:26-27
Memory Verses: Romans 8:1-19