“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Today’s verse passage is jammed-packed solid and overflowing with meaning. The great apostle Paul declares with certainty that our hope in Jesus is well-placed indeed. “Hope maketh not ashamed” reads the Old King James Bible, meaning that our hope in Christ is not a vain hope that deceives, disappoints, and leaves us spiritually traumatized. On the contrary, God’s promises to us are reflections of His own morally-perfect, dependable and reliable character. His promises to us include our own future glorification (1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:20-21). We will one day be like Christ (1 John 3:1-2), which is the end of our sanctification and the very reason for our salvation. Little wonder then that the New Testament presents hope as far more than a wishful desire that things will turn out the way the Bible says they will. In the New Testament, the incarnate Son of God just is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1). His return in glory to rapture His church is called our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). The inner witness of the Holy Spirit in our own hearts confirms the divine record of God’s dear Son, that indeed “He is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23b). The abiding presence of the Spirit and His transforming, regenerative power in our own lives are a guarantee that Christ will make good on every promise He has made to us. Paul would have us to reflect deeply on the Lord’s sacrifice for us also. While we were His bitter enemies by wicked works in our minds, Christ laid down His life for us. Now that we’ve been forgiven, cleansed, and enjoy the great honor of functioning as Christ’s ambassadors on the earth (2 Corinthians 5:20), it would be ludicrous for us doubt God’s promises to us concerning the future. “Cast not away therefore your confidence,” says the Scripture, “which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:35-37). May we emulate the noble Thessalonians, who, in the light of God’s precious promises to them, “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).