Waiting in hope ∙
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance, we wait eagerly for it. – Romans 8:25
23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. 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.
24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.
25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas, tells the story of Edmund Dantes. He is betrayed by his best friend and imprisoned for life. He has been in turmoil for years struggling with revenge, hope, love, and freedom. In his struggle, we see our own.
The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas, tells the tale of Edmund Dantes. After being betrayed by his closest friend and imprisoned for life. He endures a perpetual internal battle between revenge, hope, love, and freedom.
Dantes spends 24 years figuring things out. He feigns death and manages to escape. He discovers a vast fortune hidden on the island of Monte Cristo. He uses this wealth to systematically and successfully exact his revenge until he realizes that the son of his best, who married his fiancée in his absence, is actually his own child. Rather than kill him, he spares him.
In his struggle, we see our own. The book ends with the sagacious line spoken to his son, Maximilian, “all human wisdom is contained in these words: wait and hope!”
Biblical hope is not wishful thinking: “I hope everything turns out okay.” Biblical hope is the confident expectation that regardless of our circumstances and struggles, all the Father has promised will one day be realized.
Biblical hope is the present possession of every child of the King. But things hoped for still need to be experientially possessed. We can only hope for things that are still in the future. We confidently expect that they will one day be realized.
Our salvation in this lifetime is a mere glimpse of what is yet to come. It represents the vague outline of the substance of what we will experience in the future. We have an absolute assurance of the inheritance that awaits us, but we have yet to possess it fully.
1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Now we see and know the Father in part. But then, we will have the unrestricted, perpetual pleasure of fully getting to know and experience Him. We will gaze and reflect upon the Father’s face.
Why did the Father create the human race? The human race was created by the Father to establish an everlasting relationship of knowing and cherishing Him. Thanks to the accomplished mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are absolved of our sins and redeemed. However, we have the additional promise of future glory when we are entirely delivered from sin itself. The constraints and impediments of existing in a corrupt world will be eradicated. The restrictions and limitations of living in a fallen world will be no more.
REFLECT & PRAY
We can have confident assurance that what He promised, He will also indeed perform.
Father thank You for the promise and hope of things to come. In the meantime, encourage me to persevere and overcome the difficulties I face in this present world.
Until the future becomes the now of our present experience, that which is dimly foreshadowed should give us confidence that lifts our spirits and allows us to rise above the vicissitudes of life. “To Paul, life was not a weary, defeated waiting; it was a throbbing, vivid expectation” (Barclay).
Our hope is unseen and intangible, yet it is sure and certain. We are not to wait for it passively. But instead, we are to hold on eagerly and strenuously even amidst pain, suffering, and adversity. We look forward expectantly with endurance, steadfastly refusing to be shaken.
Romans 8:19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
The Greek word translated as waiting eagerly, eager expectation, or earnest expectation is apokaradokia. Apokaradokia comes from apo – off, kara – head, and dokeo – to watch. It connotes an amazing word picture of watching eagerly with an outstretched head. “It describes the stance of someone who scans the horizon with head thrust forward, eagerly searching the distance for the ﬁrst signs of the dawn breaking” (Barclay).
Expectant hope with endurance is a matter of focus.
Children of the King do not live only in the world; we also live in Christ. We do not see only the world; we look beyond it to the Father. We do not see only the consequences of human sin; we see the power of the Father’s mercy and love. Therefore, the keynote of the life of each child of the King is always hope and never despair.
Children of the King are intricately connected to the human condition, and as such, we are constantly faced with the internal struggle of battling our own sinful human nature. In addition to this, we also have to navigate through a world that is constantly deteriorating and consumed by death.
However, despite these challenges, the children of the King recognize that our existence extends beyond the physical realm, as we are united with Christ. Our perspective is not solely focused on the world, but rather, we look beyond it to connect with God.
We recognize and acknowledge the consequences of human sin in this present world. But we look beyond our fallen condition and embrace the immense power of the Father’s mercy and love. Consequently, the life of a child of the King is characterized by hope and optimism rather than despair. We live in anticipation of a meaningful and fulfilling life beyond death rather than simply waiting for our physical life to end.
As children of the King, we wait not for death, we for life (Barclay).
“We were saved in this attitude of hope. We did not receive all the benefits of our salvation at the moment of conversion. From the outset, we looked forward to full and final deliverance from sin, suffering, disease, and death. If we had already received these blessings, we wouldn’t be hoping for them. We only hope for what is in the future” (William MacDonald).
“We are to look forward not backward, upward not downward, outward not inward” (Edward Everett Hale).
© Dr. H 2023