The Knowledge-Hope Connection
Understanding God’s Hope Building Process Helps Us Have Hope and Grow in Hope During Challenging Times
Understanding the knowledge-hope connection of how God builds His hope in our lives actually strengthens our hope level even when times are tough.
We all go through seasons of challenge and hardship. Sometimes circumstances hit large groups of people at once, other times it’s just us. The truth is, whether we are a Jesus-follower or not, in this world we will have tribulation. (John 16:33)
One of the greatest benefits of being a Jesus-follower is the incredible knowledge Jesus gave us. God has insights that no one else has and all those insights are from the perspective of the One who actually created the world and keeps it running. (Hebrews 1:2–3)
There are actually a lot of sections in the Bible that show us how to have strong hope, even when we are going through difficult times. But right now I’m just going to concentrate on one and it has some really powerful hope strengthening insights.
Romans 5:3–5"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out without our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
- God tells us that it is possible to actually exult, rejoice, be positive when going through tribulations and hardships. We do not have to let the regular challenges we go through drain our positivity and joy.
God’s design is that we don’t fear challenges, but when armed with the right knowledge, it is possible to even be excited about them. Talk about taking the wind out of hardships sales.
Yes, you and I can get excited about challenges when we internalize what God says to us in these verses.
2. The key to staying positive and hopeful when life isn’t fair is KNOWING. When we understand what is going on and what God has provided for us, THEN we can actually be thankful, positive, and hopeful as we’re going through it.
As a Jesus-follower, we don’t have to wait until things get better to be hopeful and positive, we can be that when in the middle of it, when we receive the knowledge God wants us to have.
Now, I admit this is much easier to say than to do, but understanding this gives us a great boost in the direction of actually implementing it and then experiencing it.
3. Knowing God’s hope developing process helps us have hope.
Biblical hope is both an “in the moment” virtue and one that is developed and strengthened through a process.
Knowing God’s truth helps us have hope right now. But, God’s kind of hope is not based on circumstances, it is something that comes from God and is formed inside of us through processes.
Specifically, tribulation develops perseverance; perseverance develops character, and PROVEN character brings about HOPE.
So we see that godly hope comes from proven, developed, tested character. That means real hope comes out of who we are much more than what we’re going through.
The way we get proven character is by persevering in tribulation.
Hardships, challenges, injustices, problems, and just generally “things going on that we don’t want” are actually ways God builds perseverance in us, that leads to proven character, that leads to real hope.
Can you see how understanding the process can actually help you have hope as you are going through it?
It does me. When I read this and then respond by praying something like, “God, I don’t like what I’m going through. But I understand the process and because of that I can choose to be positive, thankful, and hopeful right now.”
It’s very, very possible to have hope right now and stronger hope in the future: it’s a win win for a believer.
4. All of this is possible because we have received the love of God by the Holy Spirit.
“and hope does not disappoint, put us to shame, BECAUSE the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (vs. 5)
God loves all people, but not everyone receives the love He has for us. When we do receive His love, given freely in Jesus, that is like the oil in the engine of God’s hope building process.
When we know that we know that we know that He loves us enough to give His own life for us. When we say “yes” to the reality that He has promised to work out everything for ultimate good in our lives when we love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
The this whole having hope and growing in hope through hardships works.
Let’s review this powerful, hope building passage:
- We can be hopeful and positive when going through difficulties and hardships.
- Knowing the right information plays an important part in being hopeful in tribulations.
- Knowing God’s Hope developing process gives us hope.
- Receiving the Holy Spirit given love of God makes the whole process work.
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