It is through the Spirit and through our faith in Jesus Christ that we groan in hope, along with the rest of creation, for the ultimate redemption of our bodies.
Jesus has given us the reason for our hope. He has made our hope real. We believe in the glory of our ultimate destiny, that is, our reunion with him in heaven. But, because we are caught up in the trials and tribulations of this life, we have yet to see it. Yet, we know that our destined glory exceeds all of the sufferings of this present life. This is why, in our hope, we are able to wait patiently.
Our patience is not a passive patience either. We strive, indeed, we struggle to achieve the righteousness that comes from a faithful adherence to the Word of God. That destined glory that was made possible to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, makes our hearts yearn for that glory with a burning passion. St. Augustine put it so clearly for us when he said, “Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in you.”
Paul tells us that, “Creation was made subject to futility…” (verse 20) Because of our sins we were made subject to their consequences. But God made us for freedom, and this freedom is also the driver behind our desire to return to God. God gave us his Only Begotten Son and the first fruits of his Spirit. It is through the Spirit and through our faith in Jesus Christ that we groan in hope, along with the rest of creation, for the ultimate redemption of our bodies.
Because we are alive and still on the road to the heavenly kingdom, we have not yet “seen” the final goal of our hope. Paul tells us, “But hope that is seen is no hope at all.” It is that glory which we know God has prepared for us, but which we have not yet seen, that gives us hope. And it is in this hope that we are saved. If we keep this hope in the forefront of our consciousness at all times, and live in accord with Jesus’ commandment to love one another as he loved us, we will finally “see” that hoped for glory we were made for in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Jesus, you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is your loving sacrifice, so willingly undertaken on our behalf, that gives us reason for our hope. It is in this hope that we strive to follow you in all that we think, say, and do here on earth. It is in this hope that our restless hearts long to find their rest in you. Amen!
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