Choosing Joy in Hope

Romans 5:1-5

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.

Romans 12:12

In an article from Stakeholder Health, a secular non-profit, collective of some 40+ participating health systems, I found what they say are the five essential elements that contribute to a full life: 

  1. “Connection – the way we humans are linked to each other” – as Christians we are connected by our belief in Jesus as Savior and king, redeemer, and restorer. We are linked together as brothers and sisters, as a congregation of God’s Church, as those who are redeemed, justified, sanctified, and saved! 
  2. “Coherence – the deep-gut level feeling that life makes sense” -That there is a reason for our being, that we have a purpose. As Christians, your purpose is found in that babe born in a manger, in the cross, and in the life given for you: It is found in Christ!
  3. Agency – the human capacity to choose and do, to move towards life” – Right now your life may seem to be incoherent. You may be disconnected and separated from your “neighbor,” but you still can get up in the morning and move, get a cup of coffee, still take time to read or watch a devotion, that is ‘agency.’ Agency is the fundamental capacity to choose to move toward life. It’s not just struggling against the fear of death, it’s very essence is the seeking of life. It’s a positive choosing. I choose to expand my horizons, I choose to get up and grow, I choose to get up and do!
  4. Generativity – Is the quality of knowing our relationship to those who have come before us and after us will benefit from our life” – It is for us a love of neighbor, congregation, community, and for any who do not know Jesus Christ as savior and king. It is the investment of ourselves into the lives of others. Generativity is the laying down of our lives, our wants, our needs for the lives of others. Generativity is a missionary, a Sunday school teacher, anyone who is actively involved in ministry; since ministry is always about others.
  5. And finally, like in Pandora’s Box, there is hope. The article described hope like this, “Hope – the future and possibilities you see clearly enough that you can take risks to make it happen.”

The hope we have is not unjustified expectation. Colossians 1:27 tells us that Christ in us is the hope of glory, “God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Now Romans 8:9 tells us that the Holy Spirt is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. We have the hope of Glory which, or who, is the Holy Spirit. 

It is because of the presence of Christ within us that we have this hope. It is in that hope that we can choose joy in our present circumstances

But the hope we have in Christ is not just to be knowledge, we are to put that hope into joyful action, in the hope of sanctification and salvation. If we find joy in the Lord, as the hymn tells us, then we rest on His Word, trust in His promise, and have sweet victory. Yes, we now can have victory over sin. Jesus came to save His people from their sins, “To rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4). Hallelujah! Glory, glory! There is joy in the Lord!

So the joy of our hope is not wishful thinking but confident, expectant, joyful knowledge that God, the Spirit, is working in you to will and to act on behalf of His good purpose (Philippians 2:13). 

We find joy in the Hope we have in Jesus Christ, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

With joy, there is hope. With joy, hardship offers growth and opportunity. With joy, self-esteem and self-respect are indestructible.

We do not grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Digging Deeper

  • Do you find Joy in the hope you have?
  • Where is your hope placed?
  • How are you living out your hope? 

Further Reading: Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 11:1, Colossians 1:27-29, 1 Peter 1:3, John 14:20, Hebrews 12:1-5 (2)

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