Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hope does not disappoint.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
~Romans 5:2-5
This past week has forced me to see the power of hope.  Last Friday my 20 year old cousin had a motorbike accident.  He was headed to work when a car failed to give way at an intersection, his bike exploded and he was flung into a pole.

He was airlifted to Brisbane with a major leg injury, there was no other injury praise God (no organ, spine or head; apparently he had even be awake and talking with police officers on the scene), and my father and I were his only relatives in Brisbane so we went to the hospital and sat with him until his family could make the four hour trip down.

It was confronting to see a strong 20 year old man (who was only a gawky teen of 14 the last time I saw him) unconscious, on a respirator and about to have surgery to remove the bottom part of his right leg.  Unfortunately there was no way to save the leg.

As the week has gone on he has had further surgeries, and to this point has remained in an induced coma.   There's been some complications with his leg and I believe yesterday surgery was done to remove even more.  It has been a time of shock and high emotion for the family... and for the most part a sense of hopelessness.

This is all very personal as I am sure you can understand, but the thing that has been very apparent to me as I personally deal with this is the truth of Romans 5.  As Christians we do stand on grace and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  To be so close to people trying to deal without standing or being able to rejoice highlights to me that hope never disappoints, but a lack of hope is a constant disappointment.

Romans 5 starts with the amazing truth that because of Jesus' actions on the cross we can now have peace with God.  That is our biggest need, before any physical or emotional need the one thing that is most vital for us is to find peace with God... because that peace allows all other things to be handled by the fact we can stand on His grace [so we cannot be condemned or defeated or accused or pulled down] and rejoice in His glory [no matter what situation we find ourselves in we have something much greater we can hold onto].

In that sense sufferings can build endurance and character and, ultimately, hope, because it is all seen through the lens of having our eternity secured through being at peace with God, because God's love has now been poured into our hearts.

This week I have physically experienced the Holy Spirit doing that, pouring love into my heart. It is such a gift to be given the Holy Spirit (God Himself) to dwell inside me.  That's where unwavering hope comes from, not a strong nature or character, but from God Himself.

Hope does not disappoint.

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