Romans 8:24-25 – 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.
So seminary classes started up again. I took the summer off so I could travel. But as my seminary work is getting closer to ending (by December I will have 4 classes left), my mind begins racing about what the future is going to hold. (ok, pastors of the church I attend…time to start planting more churches, lol)
You see, I am coming out of a lifetime of working in retail. Christmas (known affectionately as “high holidays” to the company I work for) was planned back in June. I just submitted my merchandising plans for Valentine’s Day and am starting to work on Easter/Passover for next year. In retail, we live in a constant state of planning for and predicting the future. How much product am I going to sell 6 months from now? I can literally “see” my sales in my mind and know how every store in my entire region will look.
But Romans commands us to not hope for what we see. If we hope in things we see, then we are not truly hoping. “Hope” is a confident expectation in that which you do not see. When something is unknown or unclear, hope kicks in when we wait with confidence. Biblically speaking, the main reason for hope is the knowing of the fulfillment of Old Testament promises by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Now that we have hope, what is the final part of Romans 8:24-25? “…we wait for it with patience.” Patience is very difficult for us as humans to accept. To the alcoholic or drug user who is trying to quit, patience seems impossible while facing the effects of addiction. To those who are without a job, patience is a slap in the face as they watch the effects of growing debt on their families. To those who have ever had the need to wait for something, you know what I mean.
But patience is not only discussed in the Bible, it is commanded. Luke 8:15 in the parable of the sower talks about waiting for those who have been sowing Christ need to be patient in watching the person grow. In 1 Timothy 1:16, Timothy talks about wanting the patience that Christ has. Hebrews 6:11-12 explains that we are to be patient and faithful in waiting for those promises of Christ. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. And even God is shown as being patient with us in 2 Peter 3:9.
So as I begin to get anxious about what the future holds and whether I can get out of retail and into paid ministry, I need to be patient. I need to trust and hope in Christ that He will fulfill His will in me in the way in which it will show His glory, His mercy, and His grace.
And if you are out there and having trouble being patient about something, I ask that you pray and fast. You can send me a message here if you have any prayer needs and know that it will be prayed and fasted over. God loves to answer prayer. Simply be patient and know that He is God. You will find that your Proverbs 16:3 will come to life in ways you can’t even imagine.