"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4)
Hope is an amazing thing. If you can cling to hope in the midst of trials, a difficult situation can become bearable because hope will enable you to get through it. As believers hope is a necessary part of life. We must cling to certain things so that we can come out on the other side of difficulties unscathed by the world around us. Romans 8:24 says, "hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? "The realization of our hope cannot be seen yet, but today's passage explains to us where this hope is rooted and where to find this hope necessary for life.
Paul said, "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" ( Romans 15:4 ). The Word of God was written to give us hope in this life. Hope in this passage of Romans 15 is subjective; which means we must use the personal accounts of scripture to decide and determine for ourselves where our hope is based. We are to take the information presented and make a judgment on it. Will we use it to have the hope that the Word offers? Or will we disregard the Word as just another book and wander through life hopelessly? The scriptures were written to encourage us and build us up in faith, love and hope.
Vines Dictionary defines this type of hope as 'favorable and confident expectation'. It has to do with the unseen and the future. This definition of hope describes the happy anticipation of the good which is coming for the believer. It comes from the Greek word, elpis (el-pece') which means to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation or confidence. As you can see, hope is essential to the believer. We can rest securely in our future because of the hope the scripture offers us with Jesus as our guarantor.
Here are some examples of the hope the scriptures highlight. As believers these are meant to encourage us and teach us, giving us the foundation to place our expectations on. As Christians we have hope of the resurrection of the dead ( Acts 23:6 ). Hope of the promise ( Acts 26:6-7 ). The hope of righteousness ( Galatians 5:5 ). The hope of the Gospel ( Colossians 1:23 ). The hope of the glory of God ( Romans 5:2 ). The blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ ( Titus 2:13 ). The hope of salvation ( I Thessalonians 5:8 ). The hope of his calling ( Ephesians 1:18 ). The hope of eternal life ( Titus 1:2, Titus 3:7 ). The hope of Israel ( Acts 28:20 ). All of these things are very important for us to know and be built on and encouraged in. Understanding these truths as presented in the scriptures will help us decide and know the hope of our calling and future in Christ Jesus.
Paul told Timothy, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" ( II Timothy 3:14-17 ). This is why we cling to the word of God, which is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. It gives us the foundation for the hope we have in Christ Jesus. That foundation is a sure foundation based on Christ Jesus and the precious promises He has spoken to us. Today, I pray that you hold steadfast to the Word and draw your encouragement from it. You will be blessed with a wonderful expectation of the things which are coming. Knowing these things is what gives you the hope of your future with Christ.