For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24)
Two Types of Hope
We have plenty of things that we hope for in life, and there are two types of hope. The first is a hope that may or may not happen. For example: I hope to get married one day, I’m pretty sure I will, but I don’t know for sure. The other type of hope is one that wre know will happen. For me right now, one of the hopes that I have but haven’t yet experienced is that I will finish school on the 30th of October. I know that will happen (unless I die before then), but it hasn’t happened yet. It is a hope because it is coming, but isn’t here yet.
The hope that Paul is referring to is found in verse 23 – that we will be adopted as God’s children and our bodies will be redeemed. Though as Christians we know that we have been saved and forgiven through Jesus, we haven’t seen the complete fulfillment of that. We know that God has promised that we are adopted as his children, we know that he has promised that we will go to heaven when we die, but these things are still just hopes. We know they are true, but we haven’t received them in full yet.
How do we know God will keep these promises?
God is faithful. He has kept all of his promises in the past and he will continue to do so because it is in line with his character. In fact for God to not act faithfully would be sinful, because sin is the opposite to God’s character. God cannot sin, and therefore we know he will keep his promises. He also tells us that he will:
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. (Psalm 33:4)
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
God is always the same, he does not lie and our hopes are secure.
How does this apply to our daily lives?
- We can trust God and rejoice no matter what situation we are in because we know that through Jesus, if we are truly Christians, our sins are entirely forgiven and we are God's children. We can be patient in sufferings because we know that it will all be worth it in the end (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
- We can rejoice in trials (Philippians 4:4, James 1:2-4) because we know that when we die we will be in heaven where there will be no more suffering.
- We don't need to stress. This is a big one for me at the moment with all of that assessments and exams that I have to complete before I finish school. We can pray and trust God that he will provide for our every need.
- We need to keep an eternal perspective. Don't look at life now, look forward to heaven and serve God now because of that. Don't get caught up with loving the world or being stressed about this life, trust God and rest in the certain hope that if you're a Christian then you are going to heaven eternally.
- If we have this hope, we should be eager to share it with others. We need to share the gospel. This is another thing that I struggle with - it;s easy to make excuses or chicken out, but if this is truly what we believe then we need to love other people enough to tell them.