I can’t even begin to count how many sentences over the past couple of weeks that I’ve started with these three words. How these sentences have finished have been along the lines of…
“…my trip isn’t cancelled.” -> (It was)
“…this ‘rona virus doesn’t last long.” -> (It is)
“…we can go back to church soon.” -> (We can’t)
Ultimately, each of these sentences was a wish. I wished that something would happen or I wished that something wouldn’t happen. And let’s just say that I’m not doing all that well in the wish department at this point.
All of these unfulfilled “hopes” have me reflecting a bit more on the “hope” that Paul writes about. Check the following verses:
Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I’m in no way comparing my current isolation with the suffering that Paul mentions here. That said, I love his use of the word “hope” here. You see – this hope is not a dream or a wish. Instead, it is an assured promise. Paul is saying that through faith we have gained God’s grace AND we can take joy that we have a promised future. A future in which we won’t have to deal with sickness or disease. A future that now virus can touch. A future that we will spend with God.
So while I’ll continue to “hope” that our current circumstances don’t stretch on for too long – I can do my best to intentionally find joy in the assured promise (hope) I have of the future.
Take a minute and talk to God thanking Him for the hope we have in Him.