Hope Does Not Disappoint

Written by Ahnya Evinger
 

Disappointment. If I am being honest, this is only the tip of the iceberg of emotions that barrage me once a month when I am reminded that I am not a mother, yet. Hope. It is what keeps me saying “yet.”

In 2016, the summer my husband and I decided we wanted to start our own family, I listened to a sermon on Romans 5:1-5, and I loved the line “Hope does not disappoint.” God impressed upon me that this was a scripture to carve into my soul, to write into the rhythm of my heart. I was unprepared for the importance of the words in my life at the time, but over the last six years, I have clung to the knowledge that hope does not disappoint.

Paul is very clear in Romans 5:1-5 that hope is not something that comes easily, though. Hope is a product. The scripture states, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand, and we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that our suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” These words of encouragement and affirmation have battled my doubts and fears. Paul speaks of justice, faith, peace, and grace before he even gets to hope. (I’ll have to save that for another day, another blog.)

Paul reminds us to rejoice in our sufferings. I don’t know about you, but when I’m suffering, my first natural instinct has not been to feel or show great joy. Being joyful in the midst of suffering takes intentional practice. I have had to reframe my perspective to focus on gratitude instead of pain in suffering. Paul provides us with a reason to rejoice. He explains that the eventual product of suffering is hope. Suffering first produces endurance. Endure is “to suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently”; endurance is “the power of enduring a difficult process or situation without giving way.” Why are we able to endure without giving way in the midst of suffering? Because Jesus is our firm foundation and cornerstone. Like he calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, he can also bring peace to my soul when wave after wave of pain and suffering seem to crash in over me. I know because I continue to experience Him working through every situation in my life. Endurance produces character, and character produces hope. When we endure without giving way, God has an opportunity to shape and mold our character. God is able to develop our qualities in the likeness of Jesus. Through this experience, we become a people with expectation and desire for Jesus to be glorified, living in hope.

As a little girl, I remember being amazed by rock ledges overlooking bodies of water. I remember being frightened that the rock would plunge into the water under my weight. Consider a rock jutting out along the seaside, battered by waves every day. Every day, the rock is hit with wave after wave after wave. When will the stony edge succumb to the power of the wave and be swallowed by the sea? When the storm rages, will it be the end of the rocky coast? No, the rock endures, but it does not emerge the same in its features. The pounding water has eroded the rock, and over time, it changes and evolves. Likewise, God uses our suffering, our endurance, to erode parts of us, to better serve Him. We can live with the expectation that Holy Spirit pours God’s love into us each day. God’s love is poured, reminding us of its constant flow. We know with certainty that just as our blood pumps through our body, God’s love radiates from our hearts.

I continue to cling to the words “Hope does not disappoint” as I wait with expectation for the miracle of children in my life. Joe and I know from six years of waiting that a child is a miracle. We are grateful for a compassionate doctor who is alongside us on this journey. We are grateful for the multitude of prayers spoken on our behalf. We are grateful that in our suffering, God continues to mold us into the likeness of Jesus.


2 Responses to “Hope Does Not Disappoint”

  1. Angela says:

    The Bible says that when we take time with God, He renews our strength and enables us to handle life and not be weary. Isaiah 40:31.

    My prayer is for God to renew yours and Joey’s strength
    “Oh, Jesus we love You. Strengthen us right now. God we need some energy and some patience.
    Praying for God’s favor in your life.
    Love and prayers,
    Angela.

  2. Bonita says:

    Beautiful. Thank you.

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