Scripture Reading — Romans 8:18-25
If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25 —
Someone has said, "Hope is to the human heart like oxygen is to the lungs." In other words, the heart needs hope just as lungs need air to breathe. Without hope, the heart can wither and die, but the heart that has abundant hope thrives and lives healthfully. The context in which Paul deals with hope is the experience of suffering. He speaks about "our present sufferings" and says we "groan inwardly." Hope thrives in the midst of tough times. With the strength of God's Holy Spirit in us, hope keeps us going faithfully and persistently in tough times. The heart filled with hope continues to believe, trust, and know that God is sovereign, is at work, has good purposes, and will faithfully fulfill all his promises for us. God will walk with us throughout this life, and God assures us that at the end of our journey, "glory ... will be revealed in us." The heart holds to that hope even when clouds are heavy, darkness looms, and contrary winds are blowing. Such hope makes it possible for children of God to endure their diseases, live with their pain, cope with their disappointments, walk through the deepest of valleys, and even stare death in the face with confidence and peace. As a pastor, I've seen God's children do that time and time again.
Gracious Lord, I give you thanks for all your firm and sure promises. I stand securely on them. I know you are holding me and will hold me forever. For Jesus' sake, Amen.