…hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:24-25
I want to encourage you to take a moment and read the verse above a couple more times. Paul is using logic here to point out to the Roman community of Jesus followers that if we see with our eyes what we hope for, then there is no longer a need for hope. If our hope comes to pass, there is left no reason to hope. Only BEFORE something happens or comes to pass can hope be alive and active. A hopeful life is superior in every way. But hope is only of any consequence if what we desire to occur has not occurred yet.
What is our ultimate hope as followers of Jesus? Our hope is the same as the hope of the prophets of Israel – that the Son of David would come and establish an everlasting kingdom of justice and peace that extends over all (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11, Habakkuk 2:9-20, Revelation 19:11-22:5). Jesus said to the disciples that He would come and do just that in the Father’s time (Acts 1:6-7). Paul tells the community of faith in Corinth in his first letter that “[Jesus] must reign until He puts all enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25). Jesus will come and make Jerusalem a praise in all the earth (Isaiah 62:7). And because we do not see it yet, we have hope for the day that we will!
As we are waiting, how should we wait? We wait eagerly. We wait with perseverance. Eagerness is the quality of wanting or longing for something very much – with great anticipation, with keen expectancy and with invested interest. We are interested in Jesus’ kingdom being fully present on the earth. We desire His kingdom to come and His will to be done on the earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). Perseverance is the quality of being persistent in doing or believing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving its success. We do not yet see His kingdom in its fullness – we do hope for it! And we wait with a keen expectancy despite His literal kingdom being delayed and the difficulty in establishing its ultimate success. And yet we hope for that which we do not see eagerly and patiently. With hope we cry, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
- What are some hopes you have had that have come to pass in the course of your life?
- What hopes do you have that are yet unfulfilled?
- Are you “good” at waiting? Why or why not?