i’ve been thinking about hope lately.  thankfully, my pastor has too.  just a few weeks ago our message was all about hope…groaning in hope.  go listen to pastor joy.

romans 5:1-5  “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.  more than that, 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.”

how do i suffer?  do i rejoice in my suffering?  do i groan in hope?

romans 8:19-25  “for the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  for the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  for we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  for in this hope we were saved.  now hope that is seen is not hope.  for who hopes for what he sees?  but if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

romans 8: 35-37 “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  as it is written, ‘for your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’  no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

when i was studying malachi with my church, pastor dave said that as christians, the best thing we can do for an oppressed people group is to share with them them hope of Christ.  we serve a God who is just and will vindicate the oppressed.  that’s the only hope for the oppressed.  someday…someday, Jesus will return and the oppressed will be free.  but right now, they groan.  we groan.  i groan.  my life is not terrible.  i am not oppressed or enslaved to other people.  but i have my share of suffering, my hardship list.  how will i handle this?  i can complain…i can grumble…or i can groan, i can long for Jesus to return and make all that is wrong right.  i can hope.  and this hope is nothing to be ashamed of, because i know that Jesus will conquer.


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