Friends, thanks for hanging out with me during this series on “Stories of Hope” which featured posts from friends, [some of whom are sisters, mothers, grandmothers], and their experiences of Hope. Carol’s post on ‘Confident Hope’ marks the end of this series. If you need a hope boost or an infusion of hope, I invite you to read Carol’s post.
Have you ever suffered?
Suffering looks different for each of us. Have you been the brunt of childhood taunts or seen another promoted when you wrote the amazing public relations story for your company? Perhaps, you found the diagnosis vastly inconvenient at the peak of your career or you realized it would take months and years to recover from a motor vehicle incident.
Are you staying the course in community with others who wonder about your integrity, trust, efficacy, or resourcefulness? Meanwhile, you are wondering whether any day now it may all fall apart, even though you have risked life and limb, heart and soul, ligaments and tendons on this lively adventure.
Maybe you want to live as long as you can. Someone’s aunt just passed away at the age of 105, ripe and ready. She was nearly 106 and was a missionary and so much more. Hope was integral to her life of faith. It boosted her resolve, shored her doubts, and lifted her heart to see over the opposition of natural cares, woes, and fears.
No matter the extent of your suffering there is an anchor you can depend on that will never shame you.
Confident Hope Develops Faith
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. Romans 5:3-5 NLT
In Romans 5:3-5, Apostle Paul encourages us with growing expectations. He begins with the thought that once endurance has developed, confident hope comes. According to Paul, positive results are built into us through trials. We may consider hope as an earnest expectation of good things.
From trials, good things?
Possibly Paul thought as we may, that hope can appear intangible, unseemly, or a source unquantifiable in producing godly virtue. He encourages us that hope does not lead to disappointment. Confident hope develops our faith.
Hope is integral to spiritual practice. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, we see “faith, hope, and love.” Hope is in good company with faith. Hebrews 11:1 states, “faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hope doesn’t shame us. The reason hope springs eternal in our hearts is that God loves us dearly and has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. The Holy Spirit inspires faith in us, produces godly virtues, and crowns us with the security of no disappointment.
Whatever trauma our bodies and emotions have gone through, whether it is the wearying days of drudgery or work or exhaustion from physical habits and routines, we can rest securely on God’s promises that, God causes everything to work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Hope is an anchor for the soul, sure, and steadfast. There is no lack for those who trust Him.
Hope does not shame or disappoint us. Confident hope develops our character and faith. It never fails to satisfy our deepest needs.
What are your deepest needs? In what ways will you embrace confident hope?
If you need prayer or encouragement, feel free to share in the comments below.
Further Encouragement: 2 Peter 1:3-8, 2 Corinthians 1:4-6, Hebrews 6:19
Carol Schellenberg has many loves. In addition to running Life Café, she loves maintaining relationships, making new friends in their café community, reading, keeping healthy happening, playing a bit of jazzy piano, and quilting up a storm. She has added writing to her repertoire, and wonders whether speaking to a group might be possible someday. You can connect with Carol at Life Café (https://www.facebook.com/lifecafefernie/)