How does one hope against hope? (Romans 4:18) This is being in a hopeless situation yet hoping all the more. Well it’s not done in our own power. It’s only possible if at peace with God, standing firmly on his grace (Romans 5:2), with his spirit coursing through our veins. It’s expecting his glory to be manifested somehow someway.
We don’t hope in this fashion right out of the box. This kind of hope comes from consistently exulting in and persevering through, i.e. staying under, the pressure of our tribulations.
A truly hopeful—proven under fire—person not only appreciates going through times of testing, but stands apart from them and sees profit not pain. It’s counter-intuitive for sure to act this way, but it’s a mark of a person trained to expect God to be glorified in every situation, one who knows good things will come from trials. The truly hopeful also knows that they will not be disappointed in the outcome of life’s almost unending tests.
If you’re constantly fretting and hand wringing each and every time things get hot, you might be spending your waking hours trying to get out from under pressure rather than standing pat on his grace, exulting in the expectation—not the manifestation—of the glory of God. The latter is one with proven character.
Hoping against hope is the default position in the Christian life. Might as well dig in!