Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hope doesn't disappoint

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. George Iles

Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A strong link exists between hope and experiencing adversity. As we suffer trials, and adversity in our life, the depth of the pain seems to be related to our ability to find hope. Pain can be a very positive motivator in our lives or it can destroy us. When we have physical pain, we try to do something immediately to get rid of it. I would even say that our ability to endure physical pain is often more related to the extent we have suffered emotional pain. People who have suffered a lot of emotional pain are often able to endure great physical pain because they have learned how to disconnect their mind from the pain.

Adversity can motivate us to find solutions. When there are no solutions in our resources, we turn to God as a last resort. Turning to God for answers, for hope, will strengthen us. Turning away from God, being angry with God, as we go through adversity can destroy us with bitterness and resentment.

God is not only the author of our hope but He is also the object of our hope.

Romans 5:3-5 is a great verse that talks about the suffering cycle.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

My question with this verse was always about the rejoicing part. How do I rejoice in suffering? When I have been through enough suffering to know that it can make me draw closer to God and make me more like Him, then I can rejoice. I know I will be more godly when I pass through that season. The passage clearly shows us that our hope is God. As long as we hold onto Him, he will pour out His love into our hearts.

He will not disappoint us.