MARCH 31

Good Reasons for Hope

Bible Reading: Romans 8:28-39

Romans chapter 8 has been variously described as “the mountain peak” of Scripture” and “the chapter of chapters for the Christian believer.” A German author once said of it, “If Holy Scripture was a ring, and the epistle to the Romans a precious stone, chapter 8 would be the sparkling point of the jewel.”

The chapter begins with “no condemnation” and ends with “no separation.” In between the message is of “no defeat” (Romans 8:1, 39, 37). I have an IRA and regularly receive a prospectus forecasting its financial health and expected future returns. Romans chapter 8 is a prospectus, so to speak, regarding the future of the believer. But unlike that financial document, what we have here is promised to us by God. And in these wonderful truths we find good reasons for hope:

  1. God is at work in our lives to conform us to the image of His Son and can even use our bad to achieve His good (Romans 8:28).
  2. God always finishes the work he starts in our lives (Romans 8:29-30).
  3. Since it is God who is for us, then there’s no one who can work to prevail against us (Romans 8:31).
  4. If God didn’t spare even his own son for us, will he not also with him graciously provide everything needful to accomplish His purpose in us (Romans 8:32)?
  5. Since it is God who has justified us, then there’s no one who will be able to condemn us (Romans 8:33).
  6. Christ Himself is interceding for us from heaven (Romans 8:34).
  7. We are more than conquerors through Christ who has loved us (Romans 8:37).
  8. No one and nothing can work to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39)!

Diane was a beloved member of our church family, active in fellowship and in serving others. A series of health problems worked to send her to the hospital on many occasions in her final months, until that one final visit to ICU.  I was there with her husband when the Doctor came to the waiting room at the hospital to bring us the news–despite all their efforts Diane wasn’t going to make it.  Bob and I visited her in her room.  I’d seen such scenes before–IV bags and electrical devices and tubes and wires and doctors and nurses were all working to keep her alive, but we could tell there was little life left in her.  She looked so weak and frail, lying there in that hospital bed.  And we were both filled with sadness over her pending death.  But then a thought crept into my mind.  I remembered the promise of Romans 8:37–no matter what happens, no matter how severe the trial or what life assails us with, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:27).  She looked so weak and frail, but the spiritual reality was that Diane was headed home.  Home, to the presence of Jesus and that place where pain, and mourning and death will be more.  Home, having her earthly tent put away, she was entering into that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  Home, triumphant in the One who died for her sins and rose from the grave!

F. B. Meyer, “Oh blessed Love! that comes down to us from the heart of Jesus, the essence of the eternal love of God–nothing can ever staunch, exhaust, intercept it. It is not our love to Him, but His to us, and since nothing can separate us from the love of God, He will go on loving us forever, and pouring into us the entire fullness of His life and glory. Whatever our difficulties, whatever our weakness and infirmity, we shall be kept steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; gaining by our losses, succeeding by our failures, triumphing in our defeats, and ever more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

We Are More than Conquerors Through Him Who Loved Us!

Heavenly Father! How incredibly blessed we are! Praise You. Thank You! How amazing Your love for us! Our insecurity and frailty and doubts sometimes threaten to overwhelm us! But since You are for us, who can be against us? And how can any accusation stand against us, when its You who have justified us through Your Son? Time after time You work to turn our bad into good. And You even intercede for us from heaven. Nothing in all Your creation can work to separate us from Your undying love. May our hearts rejoice in these wonderful truths and may we be encouraged all the more to fully trust You and set our hope on You. Thank You for loving us, no matter what! Amen.

One final thought…”We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.”

John Calvin

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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