Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Hope that is not seen

 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 first fruits 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?

Photo by Warren Wong

The imaginative language and the poetic beauty of this Biblical passage of Romans 8:22-24 makes this one of my favorites. We are all ‘groaning in labor pains’ as we wait for salvation. And as we wait, we operate in hope with the notion that we are saved through the love of Jesus Christ. “For in hope we are saved…

What beauty is found in this passage from Romans, talking of the hope that is not seen! I think at times that our lives are lived partly in reality and partly in spirit and hope. Certainly we, as Americans, have always lived in hope with the elusive American Dream that is still calling to us.

There is an old Frank Sinatra song that talks about “High hopes.” We at times have high ‘apple pie in the sky’ kind of hopes. We all have high hopes in our lives, and the spirit of what we hope for is, at times, the thing that keeps us going.

We hope for a better tomorrow. We pray for peace and we hope for a better life for our children and the ones who come after us. We hope for forgiveness and enlightenment, for peace to bind our wounds and heal our troubled souls.

  All of these things speak of spiritual hopes and aspirations, far beyond the material world we live in. The hope that is not seen, but felt and lived as we are touched by those who seem to have far less, or live in dire circumstance and are lifted in their lives by their own faith, these are the humbling events we need to carry with us, as God is able to discern the strength of our convictions as well as the weakness of our corporal bodies.

  As Christians, we also live in hope for the lives we live on this earth. The idea of eternal salvation is a promise that is not seen, but is often felt. We are told we must wait with patience. Patience is something that is hard to come by, when your life seems hopeless at times. But the promise that God gave us in Christ, and the hope he instills in us, and implores us as we still feel the presence of the living Christ in our lives, tells us that we are still at our core, a people filled with hope. We must send up prayers for patience for each of the things we hope for in this life, but in hope we are saved, and in hope we will live out our lives. For the one who had the highest of hopes for all of us was Jesus of Nazareth.

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