Romans 15:12 in him shall the Gentiles trust.
Many common English translations of the Bible use the word “hope” here instead of “trust”. It is true that various usages of this Greek word are translated with the word “hope,” as in v. 13. But that does not mean it should be translated “hope” here. This translation conflict is helpful because it focuses our attention on the fuller meaning of this word. Let me explain.
The hope or anticipation of a future experience must be based on some knowledge, belief, or experience. I read a psych book on fatherhood a number of years ago and there was an experiment mentioned that intrigued me. Children from unstable, fatherless homes, and children from stable homes were individually offered a candy bar deal. They could have a smaller candy bar now, but if they waited a few hours they could have a candy bar twice the size. The majority of the fatherless children took the small candy bar, while the majority of the children with fathers waited for the big candy bar.
It was a trust issue... but springing from the trust issue was the anticipation of a sure future. Trust and hope are welded together as cause and effect. Each child made the decision based upon personal experience. Those who had a stable home life anchored by a dependable father had the experience upon which to base their expectation. Trust turned into hope. The word in this verse comprehends that whole meaning.
The definition of the word translated “trust” in this verse is: “to look forward to something with an indication of the person on whom hope is based.” BDAG This passage focuses our attention on the foundation of the anticipation of non-Jewish Christians. The reason believing non-Jews can anticipate a place in the inheritance of the eternal day is because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
The deeper our relationship with Jesus, the more sure our hope becomes, and the greater our anticipation of the eternal day. The reason a lot of people want their spiritual candy bar now is because they don't have a solid relationship with the foundation of all hope: Jesus. Get to know Him...