“rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality." Romans 12.10-13
Hope really does “spring eternal” when it’s biblical hope. It gives rise to rejoicing in anticipation of what is to come. It generates energy that enables us to persevere amidst tribulation. Through life’s hardships, it lifts us above current circumstances so that we can see the better and brighter future to come. That vantage point view enables us to keep putting on foot in front of the other, day by day and moment by moment. As we do so, we devote ourselves to prayer. Were it not for regular conversations with my Creator, perseverance would be nearly impossible. In stillness, I sense His quiet prompting. Bible verses that directly bear on current situations. A sense of direction as to what to do or not do. Names of people to pray for and reach out to. The quiet confidence that He is there, and is directing me as His child.
Hope works itself out in real and practical ways. It prompts help for “the needs of the saints.” Writing a check to someone hit hard but a setback. Participating in a love offering for someone injured or unexpectedly unemployed.
It prompts “practicing hospitality.” Opening our home to fellow believers for fun fellowship, Bible study, or overnight lodging for those traveling. It consecrates our homes as havens of hope for those who need it.
The point made in linking these priorities, listed in Romans 12, is that hope does more than look up for its ultimate fulfillment. It doesn’t sit idly by waiting for the trumpet sound; it takes needed action today.
Some hope-filled believers long ago seemed to have missed this connection between hope and its motivation. “For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.” 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12. Hope had become an excuse for inaction. The real response invoked by hope, however, is quiet discipline, activity, and productivity. Hope not only anticipates; it acts.
- From the upcoming book, "Hope for Uncertain Times."
©Steve Taylor, 2018 --Used by permission