Reading through Romans 5 in preparation for Bible Study last evening, I came to a personal conclusion I sense grows from the text. We who follow God the way Jesus shows us and the Spirit empowers us should increasingly move from a position of pessimism toward hopeful optimism. Pop-eschatology birthed in the late 19th Century, popularized by highly visible preachers from their pulpits and made into novels and movies at the end of the 20th Century press us into an inherent pessimism about the world God made and the future of people and the Kingdom of God that consequently disconnects us from any hopeful engagement except for the purpose of getting more people onto the ark. We then fail to engage our world beyond the exclusively spiritual as we compartmentalize life into the materal and physical more akin to Platonism that Christianity as practiced in and by the early church.
So, when we come to find our hope does not disappoint when that hope rests on the effective work of the Spirit of God to both infuse us with the love of God and birth in us a love for God, we exult in tribulation that works perseverance and a tested and tried character. The hope we then have effected in and to us comes as we understand “those whom he justified, them he also glorified.” The future realities have been squarely brought into the present by the effetive work of the Spirit of God so that our hope will certainly not dissapoint.
Here’s a call to move every more away from Christian pessimism to the hopeful optimism that comes from our experience of hope – firm trust in the Him who justifies the ungodly.