The coronavirus pandemic has been going on for some time now and it is uncertain when things are going to get better. This is when some begin to lose hope. They cannot see beyond it and don’t know how they are going to survive it. If that is you, then you need to hear this word from God: “Hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5).
Paul wrote these God-inspired words to Christians in Rome. They would be persecuted by the Roman emperor Nero, being nailed to crosses and burnt to death. There must have been those who lost all hope. God wanted them to know and He wants us to know that hope does not disappoint.
This does not mean that we who hope will never be disappointed. We will. We are. In fact, we learn from Paul that developing hope is a process that begins with tribulation: “knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
The coronavirus has brought much disappointment, but it produces perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to endure and withstand the pressures of life. This is what makes us people of character, that is tested and tried, proven individuals. These are the ones who have hope. Hope is anticipation, expectation, confidence. Hope looks beyond the present circumstances.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). In every disappointment we are granted God’s love that brings confidence and assurance to our hearts. His love does not trickle out to us but is poured out. It fills our hearts. It comes by the Holy Spirit whom we received when we first became obedient to the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. The love of God sustains our hope until it is finally realized.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10).
God proved His love for us by giving His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us and even more so will He save us by His life. Jesus was not left in the tomb, but God raised Him from the dead to live forever. If sin and death could not destroy the hope we have in Jesus, then neither can any virus. Our hope is certain because He lives.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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Fort Worth, TX 76135