“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” – Romans 8:24-25 (ESV)
We continue talking about hope, and by that we mean hope that has faith as its foundation. It is not a ‘wistful’ hope but a hope out of conviction that God’s promises are ours to keep and trust. “Seeing is believing” but that isn’t believing by faith and it isn’t “seeing is hoping.” Even our faith is a gift from God. Because of our faith, we have hope that what we do not see now is yet truly ours. It is not really hope at all if we say we hope in what we can see and confirm. We do not really have hope for what we see when assurance and proof is right in front of them. We hope for heaven and that hope will not disappoint; we know it is ours although we do not see it now. We have our hope in God’s promises, in His word. God has said, “Take My word on it.” So, we can and do that with faith and hope from God. It is because of that hope and our conviction in the promises that we are able to patiently wait for it to be.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB)
Does the chosen verse today bring to our minds the times when we have struggled to hold firm our faith and trust in God’s promises? David declares that despair was threatening him because of the threats his enemies were throwing at him. But his faith helped him waiting on God with eager and patient anticipation. Listen to C.H. Spurgeon commentary on this passage. “Faintness of heart is a common infirmity; even he who slew Goliath was subject to its attacks. Faith puts its bottle of cordial to the lip of the soul, and so prevents fainting. Hope is heaven’s balm for present sorrow. In this land of the dying, it is our blessedness to be looking and longing for our fair portion in the land of the living, whence the goodness of God has banished the wickedness of man, and where holy spirits charm with their society those persecuted saints who were vilified and despised among men. We must believe to see, not see to believe; we must wait the appointed time, and stay our soul’s hunger with foretastes of the Lord’s eternal goodness which shall soon be our feast and our song.”*
*C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 27-57, (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers), 2:5.