5 And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.
This is my verse for the week packed full of goodness and help for my life. Before I unpack it the ‘and’ at the beginning means I ought to check out the previous verses. Actually, every verse should be viewed in context, it’s unwise to take them standalone cos we can be very misled. The first few verses of this chapter talk about hope that comes because we have faith that we have been made right with God through Jesus. Paul says because of that hope we can endure suffering allowing that to develop endurance and good character. Then from that process, we learn what it really means to hope and that leads to my verse.
The Message translates the verse like this because the Message uses a more flexible verse structure I underlined verse 5):
3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Alert expectancy – that is an awesome way to describe hope. (I just found a title 🙂 ) Isn’t that how our hope is? Or should be? In every situation whether good or bad, we are alertly expectant for God to be there, to be in it working for our good. And when we look through the eyes of hope we never get shortchanged, disappointed or ashamed of hoping because God is always good and He pours out His Spirit into our hearts. He floods our hearts, He pours out a measure so full that even when His love is squashed tight into every space there’s still more pouring out and overflowing.
Shortchanged – I don’t have a luxury mansion, I don’t have a fabulous car. I won’t be travelling first class around the world. I have to watch the budget when I shop. I am not as wise as I want to be, I am not as close to God as I desire to be. There are many things He wants to change in me. I don’t know His Word as well as I long to. I see people around me who are richer, who seem to know God more, who are fuller in faith. But I don’t feel shortchanged because I know God loves me. I know it, know it, know it. I have hope- alert expectant faith that He will always be good to me. That goodness isn’t always as I understand it but I know it is Good.
My deepest need, going back to verse 5, is to know Him more, to love Him more, to be closer to Him. He’s never going to disappoint that need, never going to make me ashamed of desiring it, nor shortchange me in fulfilling it.