The audacity of hope

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? (Romans 8:24)

Or “in this hope.” What are we hoping for? The hope which was discussed yesterday:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. … 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.

Paul’s statement that hope, by definition, requires not having the object hoped for, appears, on the face of things, to be a bit silly. Why is he telling us this?

But remember how Paul starts this section:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

The point is, we currently experience difficulties and strife, and Paul is reminding us that our current sufferings pale in comparison to our future glory. We will be reveald as God’s children, God’s adopted ones; our bodies themselves (the vehicle, as it were, of our difficulties and strife) will be redeemed.

So, we are not saved by hope, we are saved in hope. Hope is in the air we breathe, the way we look at our lives. We are borne along by hope, a reminder to us in the present of what will be true in the future. Hope is the opposite of dread.