A Hope That Brings Hope

“I sure hope this movie is good.” “I sure hope this meal tastes great.” How do you know the movie will be good? You watch it. The meal? You eat it. Hope becomes reality when you actually experience the thing you’re hoping for.
It’s the same with our hope in Christ. We hope that when we die (many of us have had loved ones go home over the course of the past few weeks) we’ll live forever with Jesus. How do you know you (they) will? You experience death here on earth. What?
Romans 5:1-5 states that our hope comes from a most interesting place – suffering. Yes, real hope, the hope that gets us through painful situations, starts with suffering.
Suffering should cause us to slow down and evaluate our lives, not get mad at God. We live in enemy controlled territory where all the messages want to draw us away from the only true source of joy and peace – Jesus. Challenges then should draw us closer to Jesus, not away. Challenges should make us ask, “Is how I’m living bringing what I really want in life?” If I’m not living God’s way (i.e. with a Biblical worldview), these hard times will expose the weaknesses in the way we think and live. We should use these challenges then to allow Jesus to change us. If we’re already living with our biblical filter in the “on” position, our sufferings will only confirm how we’re approaching life is right.
Either by getting in line with or keeping on in God’s way of thinking, we must persevere, which comes next in Romans 5, in thinking and living His way. Each thought surrendered to Jesus or put to death means our behavior can now be changed. This brings on the next thing Romans 5 talks about, character. Instead of fighting the hard times, use them to become more like Jesus. Guess what? You’ll have just experienced death on earth and seen life come out of it. This brings hope both now and forever!
When the next hopeless or painful situation arises you’ll know two things as fact. One, your God is real. You took God at His Word, put His truths into your head, died to how you thought the painful situation should be handled (i.e. your drug of choice), acted upon those truths by faith and saw God change your life. You now have a personal God whom you can trust. What’s so big about entering eternity if God can change your life now? Your God is real to you. This is huge! But wait, there is more!
The second fact you know is that He will not only get you through your present painful situation, but He’ll also get you through it with a stronger faith and more Christ-like character than you did going into that challenge. You now know your faith works in the real world! This is real hope. Hope based in fact, not fantasy. But there is more!
When God changes your life He is actually molding you into a new house that lasts for eternity – Jesus. This gives each challenge a new perspective. They are actually good for us! They give us hope now and a reality that our time on this planet was not wasted.
Imagine a house with a solid concrete foundation. This is faith in Jesus that makes you a child of God and gets you into heaven. With each challenge you face while living in enemy territory God burns off your studs through suffering and rebuilds your house with Jesus like character, these new studs last forever (1 Cor. 3:1-15). This is the process described in Romans 5.
Yes, we are going through a season of challenges as a family. Instead of questioning God, ask Him to change your life. Instead of walking away, draw closer to Him. You win now and for eternity.

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One thought on “A Hope That Brings Hope

  1. I needed to hear this. The last week I have felt like I’ve been struggling everyday just to stay alive. My faith has definitely been tested and my only option is to cling to God for my hope. It’s not easy, but I pray that I’ll come out of this stronger.

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