Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
Notice where this hope comes from. Suffering produces endurance which produces character which produces hope.
Suffering > Endurance > Character > Hope.
Trials > Perseverance > Character >Hope.
Note here that hope is not some airy-fairy thing that is fluffy, nebulous and ill-defined. “Oh, I sure hope so . . .”
No! Not at all. New Testament “hope is based firmly and utterly on the Christ who rose again. It is tested and tried. It is the result of suffering, Christ’s and ours. It has endurance and back-bone; perseverance and grit. Christian hope is hard and steeled in the midst of trials and comes out of the testing with strength of character – it is this that produces HOPE. The more we know Christ and test Him in the day to day challenges of working out faith in our lives, the more hope and certainty we have. Note that hope in a New Testament context has certainty. Abraham could never have been willing to sacrifice Isaac if he did have total trust in God and His promises. That is Christian hope. He had come to the point in his faith walk to the point where he was unwaivering. God then looked at that unwaivering faith from the end point and declares all of his faith as unwaivering as we saw in Gem 163.
On that basis Abraham then has the seal of the Holy Spirit inside of him assuring him of his standing in God’s eyes. When you have that you have “peace with” and “access to” God. Having peace and access gives hope in unbounded measures. This hope comes from suffering/trials yielding endurance/perseverance producing character and hope. It is hope that has been tested by fire. Do you think Abraham had any less than that? The problem for many of us is we want the faith, the hope, the love without the trials. Oh and don’t forget the grace and peace Lord, Can I have some of that? But not testing or trials please. I don’t like that bit.
“Hope, not as the world gives.” Yes I have stolen the verse from John 14:27 which actually refers to peace. We have a different peace from that which the world has and a different hope. New Testament is not a “I-hope-it-works-out-like-I-want-it-to” kind of hope. New Testament hope is way more than that. Because of the testing and refining God produces in us, the hope that comes is hope that does not disappoint. It is hope that comes from the assurance of our faith. Faith that leads to hope that leads to love.
More to come; ponder on this first.
I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.Anon
Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.Anon