“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, my italics).
According to Paul, when it comes to the subject of hope, the work of the Holy Spirit must be involved. So how do we abound in hope, as Paul prays for us to do? How do we rejoice in hope? And how do we obtain the full assurance of it? A seed of hope is planted at salvation, of course, but there must be a maturing of hope in our walk with Jesus.
The book of Hebrews tells us we have a hope that serves as “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:19). In short, the path to hope begins with being fully assured that we are right with God. We are talking about the assurance that we have peace with God. And Paul supplies that assurance, declaring, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
In a famous old hymn of the church, the writer Edward Mote states, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Indeed, this is peace: To believe God’s promise that by faith in Christ’s shed blood, He considers (reckons) me righteous. He does so even though I am not perfect. And His righteousness is conferred on me not by any good I have done but by faith alone.
The fact is, you can have no settled peace, no true hope, until you no longer waver about your acceptance in Christ. This acceptance is not based on what your flesh accuses you of being, or what the devil accuses you of being. It is based solely on what God sees you to be in Christ.