The Gospel to Lament and Hope

December 9, 2020

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16

Written by Jacob Bell from the Harpeth Heights Campus

We are learning in this season what it means to both lament and hope. The whole message of the season of Advent is the anticipation of hope in the midst of darkness. We have gone through a year which, if we are being honest, has exposed us to the reason why we lament and why we hope.

The Roman world Paul is writing to put their hope in gods and kings who could not save them. If we continue to be honest, this has been a season in which the Holy Spirit has led us to lament along with all of creation. Even as we are seeking shalom, His peace, He shows us that shalom comes by way of lament. It is at the cross where Jesus died that lament and hope meet to display the glory of God in salvation and the gentleness of the God who sees and understands our pain.

Romans 1:16 is one of those verses through which we rally in boldness, as we share the good news that only in Jesus is there salvation. However, this verse is not just truth only when we are inspired—it is also truth when we have been brought low. The story of the people of God is that a plea for salvation began with a deep lament for God to see them. The Holy Spirit shows us that Jesus is indeed the resurrection and the life, and the message of His name has the power to save.

The people of God can now say together that we are not ashamed of the gospel, because it is only in Jesus, rather than any god or any king, that we are seen and we are saved. The audience of the redeemed throughout history can testify that the gospel is the power of God for salvation.

This is a season to remember—to lament to the Lord, to remember His covenant, and to hope in the Lord who remembers that covenant. Therefore, we are not ashamed.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How can you practice lament in your rhythms of life?
  2. Why is it important to remember that the gospel is the power of God for salvation?
  3. If you are being honest, where have you put your hope?
  4. Pause this week and think about salvation in Jesus. Journal any thoughts that come to mind.

Missions Prayer
Pray for global workers from our church family Bryan and Wendy, and their three sons, who serve in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pray for local believers they have discipled, and for the health of local churches to thrive during this season of hardship.

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