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Two Great Hopes

I read this on Friday as I spent time with the Lord and his word:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

Notice with me that two hopes are mentioned–

The first hope is in verse two: …we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  God has called us to himself, and one day, for every true believer, we will be with the Lord forever–in glory!  No more worry, sickness, suffering, separation, or anxiety.  Important:  Hope in Scripture is not a wish, but something certain that is not yet realized.  We are assured of this, and because of that assurance, we can rejoice.

The second hope is in verse four: …endurance produces character, and character produces hope… This hope is produced experientially. The pattern here starts with suffering. Suffering endured produces character, our character brings hope. God redeems our sufferings! This is God at work through the circumstances of our world. As we walk with God through hard things, he changes our character in good ways and that brings hope.

The Apostle Paul here and the Apostle Peter in his epistle that we are studying both affirm, by the Holy Spirit, that we will experience suffering. Gladly, they both affirm that God walks with us through our sufferings and produces great changes in us as we persevere.

In a world that is looking in all the wrong places for a glimmer of hope, let’s believe God–our unfailing source of genuine hope. And be ready for anyone who asks us about the hope they observe in us. (1 Peter 3:15)

I hope you will join our online service tomorrow.  In a way that only God can do, he has brought us, in our study of 1 Peter, to a passage that clears away all confusion and gives us, as his church, five directives for living large in a time of great tumult.

Pastor Mike

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