Day 18 – Filled With Hope
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
– Romans 15:13
Hope. It is a weighty word that carries deep meaning, but it is also a word that is thrown around in everyday language without the true meaning attached to it. “Hope you have a nice day!” “Hope you feel better.” “Hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow!” We find ourselves saying these phrases without much thought and mostly as pleasantries.
In the New Testament however, the word hope, translated from the Greek word elpis, carries a much richer meaning: a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. Let that sink in for a moment. Hope, for followers of Christ, is not simply an optimistic state of mind or a desire for something to happen. Biblical hope carries an assurance and confidence in the work of God through Jesus, His Son. God has permanently secured eternal salvation for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. So Paul’s prayer for the Romans to be filled with hope was not simply a pleasantry tacked on the end of a long letter. Paul’s logic behind his confident expectation as outlined in Romans, is that God’s love for us is so secure, displayed by Christ laying down His life for us, that we can walk through life’s trials and challenges with hope of eternal life with Him. The author of Hebrews puts it this way:
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. (Hebrews 6:18-20, NLT)
Throughout the majority of 2020, you may have heard people saying things like, “There’s no hope for this year anymore. Let’s hope 2021 is better!” Truly, it was a challenging year and given the events that transpired nationally and globally, with the stroke of midnight on January 1st, there were sighs of relief that the past year had gone. But we are not hopeful simply because we have turned the page on a new calendar year. We know the year ahead may have challenges but we also know that we serve the God of hope. And as Paul says in Romans 15:13, as we trust in Him, He will fill us with joy and peace, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overflow with hope. Receive the God of hope today and in turn, receive true hope!
Lord, we thank You that our hope is secure because of Jesus. We step into 2021 with a confident assurance that You are good. Help us to surrender this year and all that is ahead into Your hands. We trust in You, our only hope. Amen.
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union Gloria (Harvard College)
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