Romans 12:12 has three specific sections. I covered the one on being “faithful in prayer” with a list of ABC’s. As I was preparing one on the first section, about being “joyful in hope,” I received an email on the subject from my friend Nancy Crowson I will share it here with you, and then give you my ABC’s on HOPE, with the hope that it will give you hope!
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.
Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD,
and whose hope the LORD is.
The poet, Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”. That famous line in his poem written in the 1700s has resonated throughout the years and is categorized under philosophy. One of the definitions for the word philosophy means, “the system a person forms for conduct of life.” And to further clarify, the verb hope is defined as “to look forward to with confidence or expectation.” So when we put all of this together I believe we can safely say, “A person who hopes is someone who has formed a system to conduct their life in a manner so as to look forward (to the future) with confidence or expectation (for good). Apparently this is not an attitude that we are born with, but one that has to be developed and maintained. Even those who do not believe in God, believe in hope. Though hope built on the foundation of man’s philosophies is like the man who built his house on the sand . . . shaky at best.
In contrast, those of us who build our hope on the foundation of God’s Word are like the man who built his house on the rock . . . stable, strong, immovable! The Bible tells us that our hope is closely linked to our faith. Without hope, faith cannot operate in our lives. I like to illustrate it this way . . . hope is the outstretched arm by which the hand of faith obtains the promises. Read that again slowly.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
We must first have hope to obtain faith and we must have faith to please God. But really, is it so difficult for those of us who have been born again into God’s kingdom to have hope? Not if we keep our mind focused on the fact that the God of the Universe chose to adopt us as His own sons and daughters and make us a joint heir with His Son Jesus (Romans 8:16-17). Like our title verse says . . . the idols of the false religions of the world cannot answer prayer. The atheists and agnostics cannot bring showers by their self magnification. But our God, the one true God can do this and more. Therefore our hope, trust and faith are established in Him.
My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus name!
Click here for a pdf file: ABC’s of Hope
ABC’s of HOPE
A nchor for the soul (Heb 6:19)
B lessed hope (Psalm 146:5)
C haracter-building hope (Romans 5:4)
D iscipline gives hope (Prov 19:18)
E ternal life hope (Titus 1:2; 3:7)
F uture hope (Prov 23:18; 24:14; Jer 31:17; 29:11)
G lorious hope (Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:21)
H ope of salvation helmet (1 Thess 5:8)
H ope stored up in Heaven (Col 1:5)
I nspirational hope (1 Thess 1:3)
J esus Christ, our hope (1 Tim 1:1)
K eeping hope, not disappointing (Rom 5:5)
L iving hope (1 Peter 1:3)
M ystery of hope (Col 1:27)
N ame for the nations to hope in: Jesus (Matt 12:21)
O ne overflowing hope (Eph 4:4; Rom 15:13)
P urifying and protecting hope (1 John 3:3; Psalm 25:21)
Q uiet hope (Lam 3:25-26)
R enewing-strenght hope (Is 40:31)
S trong hope all day long (Psalm 25:3-5)
T rusting hope (Psalm 39:7)
U nwaivering hope (Heb 10:23)
V ictorious hope (1 Cor 15:57; 1 John 5:4-5)
W ord of hope (Psalm 119:49, 74, 81, 114, 147-148)
X ‘pectant hope (1 Peter 1:13; John 6:68)
Y ielding hope (Psalm 25:5)
Z elious in hope (Heb 11:1)
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).