The Scriptures Give Us Hope – Romans 15:4

The Scriptures Give us Hope - Romans 15:4
The Scriptures Give us Hope - Romans 15:4

Romans 15:4

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

My Name Is Here

Karen loved the New York Times crossword puzzles. Her boyfriend Paul wanted a unique way to propose to her. So he enlisted the help of the puzzle composer, Will Shortz. On the designated day, Paul took Karen to breakfast. Paul was reading the sports section while she was doing the puzzles. Soon enough, Karen started seeing some coincidences. “Paul”, she exclaimed, “My name is here”. Then, “your name is here too!” Soon, phrases like “a modest proposal” and “will you marry me?” emerged. Karen couldn’t believe her eyes in astonishment. And she said Yes to the proposal.

The Bible may seem like a puzzle to us. We struggle through it, hoping to find wisdom for life’s questions. Solomon understood this when he said the man who finds wisdom and gains understanding is happy for his proceeds are better than the profits of silver or gold. (Proverbs 3:13-15). The Bible is a treasure trove of valuable things that belong to us; we must search the scriptures to understand what it says about us (John 5:39). Therefore it is the word of God that can remedy our uncertainty by gaining assurance.

Growth Into Maturity

The two-fold purpose of the word of God is first for our learning. The word of God teaches us, corrects us, encourages us and even rebukes us when we err. It is the word of God that educates us on who God is and how we ought to worship Him. The second purpose of the word of God is that through the patience and the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope, for there is no real hope outside God (Psalms 42:5)

Like newly born babies, we must crave spiritual milk for our growth. To learn from the world requires endurance and encouragement. It is easier to dwell on foolish discussions and speculations. As we learn and practice what the Bible teaches, we will grow from milk to solid food. If we only hear and don’t practice, we will be deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). An immature believer is undivided and double-minded. As Paul warned, Timothy let us guard jealously of what has been entrusted to us through the promises of God in the scriptures.

Search The Word

When we are mature, we will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). The scriptures will be like the puzzle in the crossword puzzle. With every study, we will meet many coincidences, and eventually, our lives will never be the same again. The truth of scripture will inspire real hope in our hearts. Every layer we flip of scripture brings us a deeper understanding of the assurance we get from His word. It is full of wonderful promises. Then we will be woven into a tapestry of love; in touch with everything, there is to know of God. And, we will have our minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else (Colossians 2:2-3).

King James Version (KJV)

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

New International Version (NIV)

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope”

New American Bible (NASB)

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

English Standard Version (ESV)

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

The Living Bible (TLB)

“These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death.”