And hope maketh not ashamed - A hope that is not rationally founded will have its expectation cut off; and then shame and confusion will be the portion of its possessor. But our hope is of a different kind; it is founded on the goodness and truth of God; and our religious experience shows us that we have not misapplied it; nor exercised it on wrong or improper objects.
Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts - We have the most solid and convincing testimony of God's love to us, by that measure of it which he has communicated to our hearts. There, εκκεχυται, it is poured out, and diffused abroad; filling, quickening, and invigorating all our powers and faculties. This love is the spring of all our actions; it is the motive of our obedience; the principle through which we love God, we love him because he first loved us; and we love him with a love worthy of himself, because it springs from him: it is his own; and every flame that rises from this pure and vigorous fire must be pleasing in his sight: it consumes what is unholy; refines every passion and appetite; sublimes the whole, and assimilates all to itself. And we know that this is the love of God; it differs widely from all that is earthly and sensual. The Holy Ghost comes with it; by his energy it is diffused and pervades every part; and by his light we discover what it is, and know the state of grace in which we stand. Thus we are furnished to every good word and work; have produced in us the mind that was in Christ; are enabled to obey the pure law of our God in its spiritual sense, by loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and our neighbor, any and every soul of man, as ourselves. This is, or ought to be, the common experience of every genuine believer; but, in addition to this, the primitive Christians had, sometimes, the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. These were then needful; and were they needful now, they would be again communicated.
And hope maketh not ashamed - That is, this hope will not disappoint, or deceive. When we hope for an object which we do not obtain, we are conscious of disappointment; perhaps sometimes of a feeling of shame. But the apostle says that the Christian hope is such that it will be fulfilled; it will not disappoint; what we hope for we shall certainly obtain; see Philemon 1:20. The expression used here is probably taken from Psalm 22:4-5;
Our fathers trusted in thee;
They trusted; and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee,
And were delivered;
They trusted in thee,
And were not confounded (ashamed).
Because the love of God - Love toward God. There is produced an abundant, an overflowing love to God.
Is shed abroad - Is diffused; is poured out; is abundantly produced ἐκκέχυται ekkechutaiThis word is properly applied to water, or to any other liquid that is poured out, or diffused. It is used also to denote imparting, or communicating freely or abundantly, and is thus expressive of the influence of the Holy Spirit poured down, or abundantly imparted to people; Acts 10:45. Here it means that love toward God is copiously or abundantly given to a Christian; his heart is conscious of high and abundant love to God, and by this he is sustained in his afflictions.
By the Holy Ghost - It is produced by the influence of the Holy Spirit. All Christian graces are traced to his influence; Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,” etc.
Which is given unto us - Which Spirit is given or imparted to us. The Holy Spirit is thus represented as dwelling in the hearts of believers; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16. In all these places it is meant that Christians are under his sanctifying influence; that he produces in their hearts the Christian graces; and fills their minds with peace, and love, and joy.
Christ is our example. Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? so also was He who knew no sin. He turned to His Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that He might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following His example in frequent, earnest prayer. If the ministers of Christ will imitate this pattern, they will be imbued with His spirit, and angels will minister unto them. 2T 509.1
Angels ministered to Jesus, yet their presence did not make His life one of ease and freedom from severe conflict and fierce temptations. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. If ministers, while engaged in the work which the Master has appointed them to do, have trials and perplexities and temptations, should they be discouraged, when they know that there is One who has endured all these before them? Should they cast away their confidence because they do not realize all that they expect from their labors? Christ labored earnestly for His own nation; but His efforts were despised by the very ones He came to save, and they put to death Him who came to give them life. 2T 509.2
There is a sufficient number of ministers, but a great lack of laborers. Laborers, co-workers with God, have a sense of the sacredness of the work and of the severe conflicts they must meet in order to carry it forward successfully. Laborers will not faint and despond in view of the labor, arduous though it may be. In the Epistle to the Romans Paul says: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We are without excuse if we fail to avail ourselves of the ample provisions made for us that we might be wanting in nothing. Shrinking from hardships, complaining under tribulation, makes the servants of God weak and inefficient in bearing responsibilities and burdens. 2T 509.3Read in context »
We learn a lesson in these trials.... “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:1-5). But many are inclined to think, as these temptations fall upon us, that we must give up in discouragement, that we have no power to overcome. This is unbelief. We become weak because we fall under temptation and sin against God with our lips in talking discouragements and doubts, and talk on the off side and not on the side of hope and faith. You know Christ has had all these temptations. He was tempted in all points as we are. Christ says: “For the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).... UL 282.4Read in context »
God will be to us everything we will let Him be. Our languid, half-hearted prayers will not bring us returns from heaven. Oh, we need to press our petitions! Ask in faith, wait in faith, receive in faith, rejoice in hope, for everyone that seeketh findeth. Be in earnest in the matter. Seek God with all the heart. People put soul and earnestness into everything they undertake in temporal things, until their efforts are crowned with success. With intense earnestness learn the trade of seeking the rich blessings that God has promised, and with persevering, determined effort you shall have His light and His truth and His rich grace. OHC 131.3Read in context »
No greater evidence need be asked that a person is at a great distance from Jesus, and living in neglect of secret prayer, neglecting personal piety, than the fact that he thus talks doubts and unbelief because his surroundings are not favorable. Such persons have not the pure, true, undefiled religion of Christ. They have a spurious article which the refining process will utterly consume as dross. As soon as God proves them, and tests their faith, they waver, they stand feebly, swaying first one way, then the other. They have not the genuine article that Paul possessed, that could glory in tribulation because “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.” They have a religion of circumstance. If all around them are strong in faith and courage in the ultimate success of the third angel's message, and no special influence is brought to bear against them, they then appear to have some faith. But as soon as adversity seems to come upon the cause, and the work drags heavily, and the help of everyone is needed, these poor souls, though they may be professed ministers of the gospel, expect everything to come to nought. These hinder instead of helping. 2T 514.1
If apostasy arises, and rebellion is manifested, you do not hear them say, in words of encouragement and lofty cheer: Brethren, faint not; be of good courage. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.” Men who are thus affected by circumstances should remain at their homes and employ their physical and mental strength in a less responsible position where they will not be liable to meet such strong opposition. If everything moves smoothly, they may pass for very good, devotional men. But these are not the ones whom the Master will send to do His work, for this is opposed by those who are emissaries of Satan. Satan also, and his host of evil angels, will be arrayed against them. God has made provision for the men whom He has called to do His work, that they may come off conquerors in every contest. Those who follow His directions will never meet with defeat. 2T 515.1
The Lord, speaking through Paul, Ephesians 6:10-18, tells us how to fortify ourselves against Satan and his emissaries: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” 2T 515.2Read in context »