READ : Romans 8:18-25
For in this hope we were saved. (v. 24)
Hope is one of the great words of the Christian faith, but it tends to be overused and misused and so has lost some of its force. We tend to use the word “hope” as if it meant wishful thinking. “I hope my team wins the game.” “I hope I get that for my birthday.” But for Christians hope carries with it a certain confidence that God’s promises will be realized, including the redemption of our bodies. That’s why the author to the letter of Hebrews speaks of faith in terms of hope, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1). Paul raises the bar for hope when he writes, “In this hope we were saved.”
Hope is the confident expectation that though the circumstances of our lives may suggest otherwise, God’s good purposes for the world and for us will come to fruition. The news reports suggest that suffering overwhelms our world, brokenness rules our days, and disappointment is the inevitable conclusion to our dreams. But hope declares confidence in the God who will accomplish his purposes. Though we may not see it now—which is what makes it hope—we are confident we will see and experience God’s final victory one day.
The spiritual discipline cultivated by hope is patience. Patience is difficult, even countercultural, in an instant gratification world. But hope gives us the strength to endure with patience until the very end.
Dear Lord, God of hope, fill us with hope and keep us patient as we wait. Amen.