“For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.” (Romans 15:4 HCSB)

Paul was at this point of course, writing about the Old Testament Scriptures, but of course we think of it today in terms of both the Old and New Testament. 

Paul takes an interesting view of the Scriptures here.  They were not only useful at the time they were written, but they were written for our instruction right now.  The church now as then, takes this to mean that what was written has application across all the church for all time and all cultures.  When one thinks about this, it is truly astonishing. 

The goal of what was written then for us now is hope.  Hope in the God who inspired the Scriptures and in his Son who brought them to life in the incarnation.  Hope comes through enduring in the faith proclaimed by these same Scriptures and in the encouragement brought by them.  Encouragement that God will do all that he has promised, that he will be good to his word, that he will save those who put their faith and trust in Jesus.

Now that is hope.