We serve a God of hope! The Greek word for hope is elpo, which means “to look forward to with pleasurable confidence and expectation.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Paul introduces an incredible concept — “that you may abound in hope.” He implies that you may have enough hope to spare; a supply that is “overflowing, excessive, beyond measure.” To anyone who is in a state of despair, this may sound like a cruel joke. But, beloved, God’s Word is true! He is a God of hope, a hope that is beyond measure. Paul’s prayer for the people of God was that they would be filled with “joy and peace in believing.”
This should be the normal state for all Christians, not just for well-adjusted, happy believers. God is not mocking his hurting children today; he truly is a God of hope. Paul said, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:24-25). In spite of this promise, we often respond by demanding to see a change in our situation: “Well, I could have hope if I could see just a little movement, a small piece of evidence that God is working. How can I have hope when months go by and things only get worse?”
“To abound in hope” also means to have great patience — more than enough patience to “wait for it.” You see, the joy and peace come when you know God has everything under control.
Christ will turn your feelings of hopelessness into rejoicing and clothe you with gladness if you will release your faith to him. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11). Rejoice in the God of hope — and live!