Lesson 3 – Romans

Did you know “that you and I could probably live 40 days without food, 8 days without water, 4 minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope”?  What is it about hope that makes it so essential to our lives?  The anticipation that tomorrow will be better, that change is possible, or that sometimes dreams do come true helps to keep people optimistic and motivated.  How do people manage to keep going when circumstances and events seem to indicate that there is no reason to believe that they deserve or that there is any possibility that their desires or yearnings could possibly come true?

One of the wonderful truths about belonging to Jesus Christ is that He is the God of hope.  It is part of His character.  In Him our past is forgiven, our present is secure, and the hope of eternal life is a gift that cannot be taken away.  As children of God, we no longer have only wishful thinking or “the power of positive thinking,” but we can have a confident expectation that God will fulfill every promise that He has made to those who put their faith in Him.   Paul wanted the Christ followers in Rome to understand what the Good News really meant.  He wanted them to know that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, they could be free from the bondage of their past life with its worries and guilt and shame, and by faith they could experience His joy and peace – every day!  He wanted them to grasp that as God’s precious children, they could never be separated from His love.   He prayed that they would “overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” – Romans 15: 13.

One of the great values of prayer is that God is more than willing to turn our feelings of hopelessness to ones of hope when we admit our need of Him and recognize that He is able.  The well known pastor, John Piper, says, “Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing.  And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need.  Prayer humbles us as needy, and exalts God as wealthy”.  Believe it or not!

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