Hope that waits patiently - 19 August 2020
By Xanthe Hancox
- Romans 8:22-25
22For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves, as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. 24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For which of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
We know what it is we’re waiting for – our eternal inheritance – but it’s important to know why we’re waiting so we don’t lose hope. Peter explained these things to his brothers in Christ who were looking for the Lord’s return: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
Paul also asks us to keep an eternal perspective in mind. He himself longed to be reunited with Christ but knew that remaining in the world was more beneficial for everyone around him. “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Philippians 1:23-24). He knew that to go on living in his body means that people would see Christ and be forever changed.
So hope is necessary for life, and hope with patience will keep us focused on the task at hand. Today, may we rejoice in the hope to which we were called. May we experience the peace that only God can bring, and may we abound in the power of the Holy Spirit to be Christ in this world while we wait patiently.
Prayer: Lord, I give you thanks for your faithful promises. Teach me to wait patiently and allow your will to be done here on Earth. Amen