Romans 8:24-25 ESV
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.
The hope in which we were saved is described for us in Romans 6:1-23 and in Romans 8:1-23. Jesus Christ, God the Son, died on a cross for our sins. In his death he put our sins to death in order that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we who walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh might be set free from the condemnation of sin.
The whole purpose of our salvation is to set us free from our slavery to sin and to free us to walk in holiness, righteousness, purity and faithfulness to our God. Eternal life in heaven is a benefit gained by us having walked according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh while we live on this earth (Rom. 6:22; Rom. 8:12-14).
So, we are debtors, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. For, if we walk according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God, but a fearful expectation of judgment and of the fires of hell. For what we sow, that will we also reap (Gal. 6:7-8).
So, the hope that we wait for is the day when our salvation will be complete when our Lord returns and we will be forever with our Lord. No longer will we have pain, sorrow, distress, difficulties, persecutions and temptations to sin against God. For, we will no longer be in these flesh bodies. We will then live in glorified bodies free from all human ailments. Amen!
So, while we still live on this earth, we long for that day when we will be forever with our Lord and we will no longer have to suffer as we do now. Yet, temptations to sin, trials, tribulations, and persecutions will continue while we are still here on this earth. And, some days we will literally cry out to our God for relief from our suffering and for the time when this will all be over.
But, we wait patiently for that day to come, and while we wait, we walk by faith and not by sight. We keep trusting our Lord, and we continue to follow him wherever he leads us in doing whatever it is he has called us to do, knowing that we are put here on this earth to glorify God with our lives.
Romans 8:26-30 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
In Our Weakness
The Lord Jesus not only came to this earth to suffer and die for us that we might be delivered from our bondage to sin, but he went through much suffering on this earth in order that he might be able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses. And, he does.
This is not to say that he is soft on sin, though. He isn’t. It is not like he is a cruel task master standing over our heads ready to pounce on us every time we fail, though. But, he does demand that we walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if we want to have the hope of eternal life with God. He does demand that we leave our lives of sin behind us, and that we now follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will.
But, we are not left to our own devices to figure it out for ourselves how this works, either. For, when we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, his Spirit comes to live within us to strengthen, empower and help us to live godly and holy lives pleasing to God. He helps us to resist Satan and to flee temptation and to throw off all hindrances to our walks of faith.
Not only that, but he prays for us and he intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray. Sometimes I absolutely can only say “Help!” because things are just too overwhelming for me and I am at a loss for words. The Holy Spirit, though, will always pray according to the will of God which may not always be what we would pray, because sometimes it is God’s will that we continue in our suffering, for he will work it all out for our good.
For, it is God’s will for us that we be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ who learned obedience through the things he suffered, even though he was God. How much more will we, as mere humans, need to suffer in order that we might learn obedience, too.
Romans 8:31-39 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If God is for us, which he is for those who truly have put their trust in him, then no matter what comes our way, or who is working to oppose us, our Lord will supply our every need. For, none of these things can separate us from his love. This is a promise for us who have truly given our lives over to him to walk in his ways. Our Lord is with us always guiding, comforting, encouraging, strengthening and interceding for us to the Father.
We do not have to be overtaken by what others do to us or say about us. They have no real power over us. Yes, they can hurt us, and do damage to our reputations, but they have no power over our hearts and minds and souls, except for what we allow them to have.
For, because Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross, at which time he conquered sin and death and Satan on our behalf, we are mighty conquerors through him who loves us. We don’t have to be defeated by our circumstances or by what others do or don’t do. God will supply us with all that we need, and he has already done so (See: Eph. 6:10-20). We just have to take hold of what he has given to us and apply it to our lives.
So, hold on to the Lord. Believe in his promises. Don’t ever give up, no matter how hard it gets sometimes. Remain faithful. Trust in the Lord.
Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
Hymn lyrics by Bermard of Clairvaux
tr. by Edward Caswall, pub.1849
Music by John B. Dykes, pub. 1866
Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the mem’ry find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O Savior of mankind!
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
All those who find Thee find a bliss
Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus, be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.
*copyright status is public domain
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for these encouraging and hopeful words. Thank You that we have the victory through you. Amen!