Hope Presupposes Something We Do Not Yet Have

12-7

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Hope is seeing something yet to be.  The supporter of hope is patience.  We sometimes think in terms of patient hope.  Our dad was often unable to come up to the country to see us boys since he did not own an automobile until we were well into our teen years.  This meant that we thought in terms of hoping that he would be able to visit on any particular weekend.  I’ve often wondered since his death how he was able to get around painting houses all over the triple cities area (Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott) in upstate New York.  Sadly, I never did ask him about that in the two years I worked with him in his contract painting business.  We were also not very patient when it came to waiting for him to show up.

The section in Romans which includes the key verse chosen for this devotional is titled by the NIV publishers “Future Glory” which succinctly speaks of the subject matter found in those ten verses.  The truth is that often we do not wait patiently for what we hope for.  There are two thoughts evident in this passage.  One thought speaks of “frustration” and “groaning … inwardly” because what is hoped for is yet coming but it is longed for.  The second is recognizing that what is hoped for is worth waiting for and so patience is exercised because of the great hope.  We believers “wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verse 23b).

As you pray today focus in on the glory that will be ours when our final salvation is realized by our presence with the Father and all the host of heaven.  It is hard to wait patiently but God still has work for us to do as we await the coming of the Lord.   Let us hope patiently until His coming.

 

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