What is hope? Scripture is helpful in this regard. Roman 8:24, 25: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Hope is patiently waiting for something you cannot see. If you can see it, it is not hope at all, because it is already a reality. Think of the young man and woman who are engaged to be married and eagerly await the day when they will be wed. The day has not become a reality yet, but they with patience (most of the time) wait for it. At this point they can only hope for that day, because it is not yet a reality, it is “unseen.” You cannot hope for something you already have. A child holding an ice cream cone does not say, “I hope I will get an ice cream cone today,” because he already has one.
What then is our hope? Our hope is the resurrection of our bodies in the last day. “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2 Cor. 4:14). This is something to hope for! The resurrection of our bodies when “in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26). What greater hope can there be for us? What makes us even more earnest in our hope for the resurrection is that it is eternal. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). The outcome of the hope of the young man and woman we talked about earlier is marriage. Marriage is not eternal, and neither is the ice cream cone the child has in his hand. But the outcome of our hope in the resurrection is eternal! This is true hope. Our hope is also for something that is far greater than the worries of this present day. Look at the context of verse 18: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). Also Romans 8:18: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” All the events of our earthly lives are only temporary, but our hope lies in that which is eternal. In this hope is our salvation. More on this next time.