A Reason for Hope
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
Sometimes God is glorified through the removal of an affliction. When we have a problem, people pray with us about it, and when it's resolved, we praise God for that. If a physician performs surgery, and that loved one is cancer-free, we thank God. We thank the doctor, too, but we realize God is the one who is ultimately in control.
But then there are times when the surgery doesn’t go as well as we had hoped. There are times when the illness is not removed. The problem is not taken away. It is then that God can be glorified through the enduring of the affliction. And it is through hardship that we will develop hope.
You would think the best way to find hope is to have a trouble-free life. No, the best way to find hope is through the crises of life. In Romans 5:3–5 we read, “But we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Hope is going to come through hardship. So when a Christian suffers and still glorifies God, it reassures the rest of us there never will be a valley so deep that God will not get us through it.
It also reminds us that death is not the end. Physical death is not the end of existence; it is just a change in the state of existence. The tomb is not the entrance to death, but the entrance to life. Heaven is the earthly life of the believer, glorified and perfected. When a believer dies, he or she goes into God’s presence. That is the ultimate hope.