What wonderful verses on which to end our readings on “Hope in suffering”! A two thousand year old benediction that speaks of hope.
Paul is clear that hope comes from God. God is “the God of hope”. The birth of hope in our lives is a supernatural event: it comes “by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
And with God, hope is not in short supply. Hope is not sparingly rationed out to us: Paul prays that God would fill us with hope. And more that that, Paul prays that God might keep filling us up, that we might “overflow with hope”. What a beautiful picture of what God has done for us in Christ: pouring hope in our lives with such generosity and in such volumes, that we cannot contain it. That spilling over of hope matters, of course. For the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ is not for us alone, but to be offered to all. God’s generosity is not just for us: this hope is supposed to spill out from our lives and touch others.
What does hope look like? It looks like joy – present in our lives, because of who God is and what he has done for us in Christ, despite our suffering. It looks like peace- a contentment and restfulness that is greater that the trouble that surrounds us.
But for all that this is the graceful work of God in our lives through Christ, there is something for us to: “trust in him”. For this hope, this joy, this peace, only comes to us as we place our trust – regardless of our circumstances – in the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, no matter what today holds, there is hope, there is joy, and there is peace to be found. We find hope in Jesus. Or rather, in Jesus, hope has found us.