In Romans 8:24-25, Paul stretched our imagination to wonder in anticipation. It reads, “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:23-25 NKJV)
The import of this passage is that the Christian is saved to live a life of hope (1 Peter 1:3). Hope is the fuel that nudges us on in life even when things are not working out the way we expect (Acts 27: 20). It is the gentle string we cling on to instead of giving up on life. Hope is simply expectation or anticipation of the future. We all have expectations of a better future here on earth and in heaven. A life without hope is doomed, futile and meaningless.
Paul’s text says that if we hope for “what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” As believers, there are many things we do not see now, which we hope for. Each day, we stretch our imaginations with many things we do not see but which we expect in the nearest future. And because we do not see these things we wait patiently for them. John Piper says, “Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future — it expects it to happen.”
Think of those ideas, which the Holy Spirit has planted in your heart, which you patiently wait to see their fulfilment; they have been planted so that you can constantly reflect over them and nurture them in prayer until they are fulfilled. What are some of those things we do not see for which we patiently wait for?
As believers, we patiently wait to see the day when we shall reunite with Christ either in heaven or during the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (1 Cor.1:7; Phil.3:20, 21; 1 Thes.5:8-11; 1 Pet.1:13). We wait patiently to see a new heaven and the new earth emerge to eclipse this sinful earth. We wait to see the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and Christ (Rev.11:15). We patiently wait to see the day our loved ones would embrace Christ and share in the same faith we have. We patiently hope for the redemption of our bodies (Rom.8:20-23). We wait to see the day the dead in Christ would resurrect from the dead, including our loved ones. Concerning our hope, Paul wrote, “ For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith”(Galatians 5:5 NKJV).
Intercessors wait patiently to see their prayers for the transformation of the nation and society comes to pass. They patiently wait to see God deal with the wickedness and injustices of the society. Revivalists wait to see another outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the Church. The Nigerian Church has grown largely out of the series of Holy Spirit outpourings and revivals since 1914. In line with God’s promises to visit his Church again, I expect to see another Holy Spirit outpouring.
Child of God, are your imaginations filled with dreams of unseen things? Just hang on there and prayerfully wait for them with perseverance. Hope is not finger crossing; hope encourages perseverance. Since hope does not disappoint, your hope is not in vain.