Enduring Hope, An LGG Study / Week 1 The Nature of Hope
Today’s Reading / Romans 8;18-25 / SOAP verses 24-25
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25
Our larger passage begins with these words from Paul, “For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the coming glory that will be revealed to us.” It is worth noting here that Paul is not trivializing ‘our’ present suffering in this sin cursed world nor any suffering that we may face because we follow Him, but rather – he is pointing out how great and wonderful the “coming glory” of life with the Father will be. With the knowledge of such a great promise, is it in wonder that Paul goes on to write, “- we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”?
- The hope of being with God is the same hope that led us to believe – and place our faith in Christ.
- Our hope is certain – but not yet seen. We have to wait for it and while we wait we hope.
- While we wait we will know the suffering and consequences of life on a sin-filled earth and because of this – we will wait eagerly, knowing there is a better day coming.
- And, we will wait patiently – enduring this present life for the promise yet to come – eternal life with God.
A Present Day Perspective
To put this in perspective of our present day. I work in the office of my church, and there’s a lady who faithfully for prayer – for herself and her extended family. She’s been doing this for years and the needs are never trivial – she calls because she or someone she loves is suffering, or in prison, or unsaved. She is a woman of great faith but also great need and suffering, most recently in her own battle with cancer. She was just seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when her sister took ill and died. She buried her sister this past weekend and then called today to say that her brother’s house was robbed while they were at the funeral and thousands of dollars was taken – it was all he had. The list goes on. The suffering never ends for her … but her faith holds firm. In one breath she cries out in agony and in the next – “hope”. Today her agony was so great and her wails so loud that I could barely understand her – then her agony turned to a professed and firm confession of hope in knowing that God is able to save her unsaved and troubled nephew, and He is able to return the stolen money to her brother, and He is able to give her peace “in” all the suffering – and that one day all pain and suffering will end. It was a hope that calmed her crying and brought peace to her agony – and tears to my eyes – because it was a true and abiding hope placed in God and His coming glory.
Like my friend Thelma and in the words of the Apostle Paul, “we [too] eagerly await our adoption and the redemption of our bodies [from earth to heaven]. Because in hope we were saved.” To be sure, – according to God’s Word He has adopted us as His own children, Romans 8:15, but as someone once said – “The adoption is complete, we’re just waiting for our Father to come and pick us up so that we can be with Him.”(unknown source)
Response to God’s Word
Father, as we “eagerly await” Your coming glory, help us to wait patiently, with endurance, for the hope-filled promise of 4-ever with You! And as we ‘endure’ the suffering of this world, whether spiritual or physical, may our endurance shine a light on You, so that others will share in our hope. – In Jesus’ Holy Name –