Monday, January 15, 2007

Contemplation #229
Who hopes for what he already has? Romans 8:24

The very nature of hope is to look forward to something in the future. However, we also have statements such as "Christ in you, the hope of glory" Col. 1:27. Christ in us is a present reality. So we hope for more than we experience now, but that hope is based on a taste of the future that we presently enjoy. Without any present experience our hope would simply be wishful thinking. Without any better future our present circumstances would be cause for despair. Our hope is in what we now have by grace, and yet also for blessings to come.

Contemplation #230
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25

When true hope is in us by grace, we are able to have patience. Impatience is a reaction of desperation when hope is absent. When God is present with us and assuring us of his faithfulness and promises, we enjoy a peaceful patience through our we hope in God. When we have no assurances, and no confidence in the future, we become impatient to have immediately some comfort. Hope comforts us in the present even in the expectation of what we do not yet have.

Contemplation #231
But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Romans 8:24

Christian hope is known only through faith. Paul's distinction that there are two ways - walking by faith and walking by sight - clearly sets at odds how life may be lived. Walking by sight puts us in control, but hope only exists for those who walk by faith. They see by faith what cannot be seen with eyes, and so all the life of God becomes theirs. Anything that we can see is insufficient to give us hope, though many still place their hope is what can be seen.