Hope Comes from Living in the Scriptures (Part 1)
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Are you filled with hope today? This is God’s great desire for you. But sustained, confident, expectant hope is not automatic. It requires us to be active and attentive and responsive. This hope comes from living in the Scriptures. In this verse, three simple truths are set before us:
- All of Scripture is for our instruction.
- Instruction leads to endurance (steadfastness) and encouragement (comfort)
- The result is a sustained, confident, expectant hope in God.
Hope is the direct result of living in the Scriptures. We must learn what the Scriptures teach if we expect to experience and enjoy the life of hope that God promises and will surely follow.
Thankfully, a Bible college or seminary education is not required! Let me suggest four avenues for learning about God from the Bible. These well-travelled paths are laid out before us in Psalm 119 and are the heartbeat of the Psalmist – Supplication, Memorization, Meditation, Affliction
We begin with supplication. Webster uses these phrases to help us understand:
- “the act of humble prayer, entreaty or petition”
- “to ask for humbly and/or earnestly”
- “a request made for something desired; a respectful, humble request as to a superior or to one in authority”
Living with a sustained, proper hope in the living God does not come naturally. We fallen creatures are easily cast into fear, disillusionment, darkness and despair. To understand unseen spiritual realities, we need light. We cannot see without God’s merciful intervention. So, we humbly ask him, because of our need and because of his promise to give mercy and grace.
Psalm 119 is replete with such humble, earnest requests (vv. 12, 18, 19, 27, 36, 38…).
With paper and pen in hand, take some time in these days of isolation to peruse Psalm 119. List all the supplications of the Psalmist. Then make them your own as you converse with your Father. It leads to hope!
More next time. Until then, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
“May the God of endurance and encouragement” sustain our hope as we live in his word.