Thursday, 25 April 2013
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
This verse leads is back to verse 2. Paul has explained, in sequence, how we get to our hope and what causes us to rejoice in it. We are justified by our faith which allows us to actually glory in our tribulations. This in turn produces perseverance, character, and hope. It is this hope and the sequence of how it came about that Paul tells us will keep us from disappointment.
A hope which is falsely directed will only lead to shame or disappointment. If we hope to meet the prom queen at the burger stand in the evening and she doesn’t show up, our hope was in vain and we feel the sting of rejection. But Paul says that the hope we have in Christ simply won’t fail. We have the surety of God in that what He has promised will come about. Writing to Timothy, Paul tells of his convictions of this, even as he wrote from prison expecting execution –
“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
The surety of our salvation and eternal blessing in the presence of God isn’t a misdirected fancy or a wasted use of our faith. It is as reliable as the evidence given – “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” The term “poured out” is from a word which is used to describe a liquid which is diffused as it’s poured. It fills a vessel completely. This is the giving of the Holy Spirit by God. It is, according to Paul, a sealing which is a deposit guaranteeing our future redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 14).
When we are sealed with the Spirit, Paul tells us to be “filled” with the Spirit. We have received Him; now we must allow Him to have more of us. This comes through obedience, fellowship, study of His word, etc. These things lead us to our hope which is properly grounded.
Life application: Be filled with the Spirit. The moment you called on Jesus, you were sealed with Him. Now allow Him to fill you. Read and know your Bible, the word He authored for You to know God. Speak to Him through praise and prayer. Live in Him and rejoice in what He has done and what He has promised to do for you.
Lord God, I have a sure and unwavering hope in the promises found in Your word. I know that every good thing which is spoken of there will come to pass. And so I will wait patiently for those things as I walk in this difficult and trouble-filled world. Give me strength to endure each trial I face until that great Day when I stand in Your presence. Amen.