HOPE: confident trust with the expectation of fulfillment.
20Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.Romans 8:20-21
It is an interesting thought to me that all of creation waits in eager expectation — hope — for the day it will be set free from death and decay. Paul continues by saying that creation “has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
When a woman is in the midst of the pain of childbirth, her expectation, her hope of holding her child, is at its highest. As soon as the child is born, her hope turns into reality. In essence, she no longer hopes for what she is holding in her arms. Her hope is fulfilled.
23And 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. 24We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)Romans 8:23-25
The same is true for me as a believer. When I received God’s free gift of being right with him, he gave me the Holy Spirit as a deposit. This deposit is my assurance that one day my body will be set free from the effects of sin and suffering. On the days when I feel my age: the aches and pains in my joints, the difficulty seeing and hearing, the wrinkles around my eyes; on the days when I am weary with the news, the tragedies of life, the inequities, injustices, hatred — it is on these days that I can be confident. I have HOPE!
Hope that one day my full rights as a child of God will be a reality. I can sit in this knowledge, allow it to wash over me and watch my focus shift from the problems of today to the assurance of the future. I know it isn’t just wishful thinking, but a sure promise based in the reality of God’s overwhelming love for me expressed in Jesus.
When I carried my children inside my body, I waited eagerly for the day I would hold them in my arms. I had confident expectation that a child was growing inside me and would be born. In the same way, the Holy Spirit lives in me as a guarantee. I hope — live with confident trust and expectation — that all is well, all is well and all will be well.
The battle againt me starts in my mind. It makes a difference what I think on, what I allow to run through my mind on a continuous loop. I can meditate on all that is against me (my age, physical limitations, cataracts that are developing, trouble in the world, wars and rumors of war) or I can meditate on all that is for me (warm place to sleep at night, family that loves me, Holy Spirit that indwells me, clothes to wear, candle to burn, books to read, songs to sing, love to offer, service to provide, Jesus by my side, grandchildren to love, nature to observe). One brings blessed joy and contentment; one brings sadness and sorrow. I choose every day. And so do you.