For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 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 8:18-25
Remember when you were a kid and there was that special present you hoped you would see under the tree on Christmas morning? For me it was a new bicycle. I had bikes before, but they were always used, never new. My old bike had broken beyond repair. I can still remember waking on the Christmas morning and there was a brand new green and white bike. All I wanted to do was get on it and ride, forget about any other gifts. I no longer hoped for a bike I had one. In an instance hope changed to reality.
Now there have been things I have hoped for and when hope turned to reality I found that reality did not measure up to my hope. Things and people have a habit of letting us down. Many times the saying “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” is all too true. Not for that bike, no that bike fulfilled all my hopes and then some.
As Christians we have a hope that others do not. But unlike the hope I had for that bike my hope in Christ is guaranteed. Once I accepted Christ’s finished work on the cross then my hope was guaranteed. I know where I will spend all eternity.
What really bothers me is when certain churches or Christians try and take away other’s hope. Our hope in Christ is what makes us different than any other religion. Every other religion keeps their followers in the dark about what will happen after they die. With all the rules and things they have to do, one can never be sure they will go the heaven. Some religions even follow a capricious god that might just change his mind at the last minute and decide not to let you into heaven.
Christians can do the same when they tell others they have to do certain things or act certain ways. They want to put rules for entrance into heaven or they put doubt in minds about one’s salvation. Maybe they require a certain spiritual gift to be saved. Sometimes they require a certain method of baptism or a requirement to be baptized in order to be saved. All these things take away hope and add steps to Christ’s work. They are telling people that Christ is not enough. You need Christ and this to be saved.
Our hope, my hope, lies in Jesus Christ and nothing less, also nothing more.
Have a blessed day,