Our Deepest Hope

[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Preaching, teaching, encouraging wherever the Spirit blows him, Stan Helton loves God’s people and remains passionate about living out God’s Mission.]

The Apostle said,

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:22–25 NRSV)

My hope is too small. There! I’ve confessed it.

We are so focused on instant gratification that hoping for something as big as the recreation of the world, well, it’s both mind-boggling and patience-evaporating. Yet New Creation is the hope of those who believe the One who has already begun to recreate the world in us. That’s why we are said to have the first fruits of the Spirit—God’s project begins in each of us.

Hope, as Paul makes clear, is about waiting. If my hope is too small, my ability to wait is even smaller. But when we wait for the big ticket items in life: to grow up, to graduate, to marry, to have our first home, to have children, to enjoy grandchildren—all of which take place in their own time, we find out rather quickly that we cannot rush them. So we should not be surprised that God’s main project—which is not your own personal salvation, by the way—is the complete renewal of creation. Now that’s worth waiting for, but until then…

There’s groaning. In our (con)temporary experience, we groan. While not all of life is suffering, there is enough. And when we are in the midst of it, it’s too much. And for some of us, it never let’s up. We also groan with our world because too many resist the work God has begun and God will not force his re-creation on the earth before its time. The news outlets make sure every day that we know how much creation is groaning. But one day. One day all groaning will cease. So until then…

We groan, we live, we wait, we hope. Perhaps this classic hymn will help us wait…and hope big!

Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand

Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling.

Covet not this world’s vain riches
That so rapidly decay,
Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures,
They will never pass away.

Refrain:
Hold to God’s unchanging hand,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

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One thought on “Our Deepest Hope

  1. Pingback: Our Deepest Hope | Dr. Stan's Study

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