Hope. What is hope? It’s a belief that good will come. That rescue will occur. That things will get better. Hope keeps us going. Without hope, we have nothing. We have nothing to hold onto. Cling to. Live for. If we have no hope that one day things will get better, that things will change, what’s the point? What’s the point of the Christian life if we have no hope? Hope in Jesus is what keeps us going. We are hoping in the unseen. And this hope keeps us afloat.
Life is a struggle. Some days (most days) I find it hard to get out of bed. I’m exhausted. I’m weary. My anxieties race through my mind as soon as my feet hit the floor. It’s a battle.
Even in the midst of my sins though, in the midst of my weariness, and exhaustion, and pain, I have hope. I have hope that one day things will get better.
Some days this is very evident. Others it’s just a blip on the radar, but that hope continues. It continues because my hope is not in myself because I know that I am weak and unable. My hope is not in my future, in my job, in my skills, or my abilities, even though constantly I am tempted to put my hope in external limited things.
No, when it comes down to it, my hope is in Jesus. The one I can’t see. The one I pray prayers to and wonder if He is listening. My hope is in the one I worship, but fail to obey consistently. My hope is in Jesus.
I hope imperfectly but I still have hope. I have hope that one day, if I continue to hold onto Jesus, that things will get better. I have hope that even when I struggle to hold onto Him, that He has a got a hold of me. I have hope that all of the things in my life that Jesus is using for good. Even as I write that sentence right there, I have doubts in my flesh and my mind. It’s true though. All the things that are occurring right now in yours and my life, they are for our good. Even our own mess-ups and failures, God is using those to remind us how good we are on our own, which is not very good.
Paul writes in Romans 8:18-25:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 2But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
I don’t know about you but this verse is difficult for me. I don’t know how Paul can say that the sufferings of this time are not worth comparing to what is coming. Because I feel them daily. I feel and experience these sufferings daily. I see my own sinfulness and my own hypocrisy and it literally cuts to my core. How Paul? How can you say that what we face now is not even worth comparing to what is coming? How??
Because he had hope in the fullness of the story of the gospel. That even though us and this world have been subjected to sin, and we groan all together inwardly, we have hope. We have hope because Jesus came to earth, and lived the sinless life, and died a perfect death, to atone for yours and my sins, both now and forever. Therefore, we have been given access once more to a relationship with God our Father, and we have been adopted.
Yes, we still live in this sinful world, and have sinful bodies, but God is renewing us. We have the first fruits. We have been given a taste of what is to come, and it is magnificent.
THIS. THIS is the hope in which we were saved. That one day all creation, us included, will be fully set free from these sinful bodies that nag and pull us towards sin now. We will be fully adopted as sons and daughters of Christ. This is what we wait for. This is what we hope in.
The struggle will not define us forever. This earth is just the beginning. Eternal life. Whole life awaits us.
So what do we do in the already, but not yet time period that we find ourselves in?
We wait for it with patience. We sit on the edge of our seats, eagerly longing for the day in which all will be made right. We live our lives now in the hope that the struggle that we find ourselves waking up with today, will not be the struggle that defines us forever. That and all struggles are coming to an end.
It’s hard to believe but they are. So as you look at yourself today, think about the hope that can’t see, but that you have. The hope that Jesus is changing and renewing your heart and mind constantly. And that this earth is only the beginning of your story.
Yours and my stories are so much bigger than our weariness. Our guilt. Our shames. Our failures. Our losses. Our disappointments. Our stories, if we know Christ, are those of hope. That one day, all things will be made new. Including us.
I will continue to hope. Hope in what I do not see, yet believe. Hope in the good, and the restoration that is coming. Hope in Jesus who has saved me. Even if I have to crawl towards hope, on my bloodied hands and knees every day, I will keep eagerly awaiting the day when I will cry no more tears. When I feel no more pain. When my body will not ache or be weary. When I will no longer have rampant unwanted thoughts or anxieties running through my mind. I eagerly await the day when I will collapse exhausted before the throne of Christ, giving all I had on the earth, and entering into the fullness of Jesus’s presence forever, as an adopted son of God.