“We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” Romans 8:24-25 (NLT2)
Waiting can drain the hope right out of you. Our souls hunt for God in the waiting room of life. Where is He? When will He come through? Will He come through? In Romans, the Bible says, “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” Romans 8:19-21 (NLT)
Sin has subjected our entire world to death and decay. All of creation is awaiting the ultimate redemption God promised to restore all things. It will be a day when the lion lays down with the lamb! But, for now, we live in a broken world and our lives are broken. To a shattered world, God sent His Son to be our Savior from sin and death.
The idea of salvation in the Bible is pictured best as past, present, and future. It is past because we are saved the moment we turn from our sin and receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. Our new life in Christ begins at that moment! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” In that miraculous moment we moved from death to life, from darkness to light! That is salvation past. Theologians call this justification. I’ve been made right with God through faith in His Son. Salvation is also present because we are being saved, daily delivered from sins dominion! This is the process of sanctification. I am growing in Christlikeness day by day, from glory to glory by the power of the Holy Spirit. Still, there is a third aspect of salvation to be experienced in the future. We’ve received the firstfruits of salvation, a foretaste, but there is more to come! This is the basis of the believer’s hope! There are more benefits and blessings of salvation to be realized that will be ours when Christ takes us home and establishes His new Kingdom. This produces an eager expectation in the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ! I love the way The Message puts it in Titus 2:12-13,
“This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears.”
Paul said, “We were given this hope when we were saved….” Yet, we wait for that day when we will fully receive our salvation. Sometimes that waiting period can leave us groaning along with all of creation. We long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. In Romans 8:23 the Bible says, “We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us.” The older I get the more that passage means to me!
Here’s the point. Our hope as Christ followers is not based on wishful thinking or probability but on the integrity and infallibility of God’s eternal promise. The writer of Hebrews puts it like this:
“God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change His mind. So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls…”Hebrews 6:17-19 (NLT2)
Until then, keep waiting patiently and confidently! Hope will not disappoint you!