For in Hope We Are Saved
Hope! This is one of the theological virtues. We have a native instinct for it as human beings. How else would we put our heads gently down on our pillows every night if we did not live in the hope of tomorrow? But the hope that Paul speaks about here in Romans 8:18-25 is a transcendent hope, one rooted in eternity. This hope is given to us by God. It is the sister of our faith in God. Because we believe in Jesus, that he is the Son of God, that he came among us, suffered and died for us, to show us the depth and the breadth of God’s love for us; because we know that love in and through his forgiveness and mercy, we can hope that after this life, we will be able to live with him and all the saints forever in his loving presence.
Paul says that it is in this hope that we are saved. It is in this hope that we are able to endure the sufferings, great and small, that enter into each and every life. It is in this hope that we can see that those sufferings, as great as they are to us in our finite humanity, “are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” It is this hope that is the “groaning within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” Rom. 8:23
We do not hope for what we can see. We hope for what we can not yet “see” in our finite humanity. We hope in the promises of God, in Jesus Christ, the redemption of our bodies and the joy of heaven. It is this hope rooted in our faith, that helps us to endure through the sufferings that this life brings. We are not defeated, we do not despair. We are pregnant with hope. As Christians, the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in us. It is the Spirit, that is that life-giving Hope that groans within us in anticipation of the redemption of our bodies in heaven. We are the People of Hope. Let us live, then, in the light of that hope. Let us endure life’s sufferings in that hope. This is the real meaning of the life of Christ.