Read: Romans 4:13-5:5
Think: The word “hope” is mentioned at least 10 times in the book of Romans. When Paul discusses Abraham, he says in Romans 4:18, “Even where there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping…” In Romans 5:4-5, Paul describes hope saying, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” In Romans 12:12 he encourages the “Rejoice in confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on hoping.” Finally, in Romans 15:4, he says, “And the scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Throughout the book of Romans, Paul reiterates, over and over, that hope IN GOD is an essential, non-negotiable component of faith.
Act: How can you keep hoping when you feel discouraged? How can you fight discouragement when everything looks bleak? How can you rejoice when you run into problems? One of my former pastors said that hope means, “hold on, pray expectantly.” I like that description of hope because it tells you HOW TO hope: keep talking to God, keep asking God for help, keep your eyes on God; never give up. Today, identify one prayer request for which you’ve lost hope and stopped praying. Ask God to help you to “hold on, pray expectantly” for that person or situation.
Pray: Dear Lord, give me the confident hope I need to keep praying for Your intervention and help. Please give me courage. Help me to look to You rather than to my circumstances for hope. Fill me today with joy and peace because I trust in You. Amen.
Be full of faith today!