“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Within the Gospel of Matthew we find two of the most challenging verses of Scripture.
In Matthew 10:39 and 16:25 our Savior advises us that those who seek their own life will lose it, while those who lose their life for Christ’s sake will find it. Comparing Romans Chapter 12:1 also instructs believers to be a living sacrifice to God.
With this added context, it is clear that Christ’s will is for us to give control and authority of our life to Christ.
That means our life should be devoted to pleasing our Savior by living obediently in His will. Assurance is given us that by living a life of obedience, sacrificing our selfish desires and prideful control, we find true spiritual fulfillment in Christ.
For this reason, we can better understand why the prophet Samuel said it is better to obey than to sacrifice.
We humans have a natural inclination to seek earning favor by sacrificing something we believe is of equal value. We sacrifice time and labor for an appropriate amount of pay.
We sacrifice money for an equal amount of food or belongings. We are conditioned in many ways to believe that what we can give is the measure of our value above all else.
Christ seeks to remind us that this isn’t the case. While devoting time to church attendance, paying tithes, and doing charitable deeds are all godly acts, they aren’t the measure of what God wants from us. God wants us more than He wants any particular thing we can give Him.
This makes sense, as God ultimately gave us all the things we’d be offering Him anyway. Furthermore, as Romans Chapter 5 encourages us, God wants to pour His love out and into our hearts. God loves us, and wants us to enjoy this love with a lively hope. Essentially, we are God’s children, and he wants to spoil us with His goodness.
Therefore, Christ encourages us to give our lives to Him, allowing Him to solve the problems we can’t solve. That means allowing Christ to provide the blessings we can’t attain any other way. Allowing Christ to give us the hope that no matter how desperate or terrible a situation may seem, God’s love will still give us victory.
We are encouraged to give our lives, including every blessing and problem, to Christ, trusting that God’s love will always give us hope; and hope does not disappoint.