Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 8:25
“But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” – Romans 8:25
Paul here is building upon the idea expressed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. This verse lays out the definition of faith we see throughout the New Testament. Paul now speaks of hope declared in the above verse. Hope signifies the expectation of some future good. Not something that has already happened or is occurring right now. In this context it is something that we are sure will happen, and we are comfortable that we will, at some point, receive it.
So, by definition then, we hope only for those things we do not see. And when we put it together with Hebrews 11:1 we see how faith and hope work together. Hope is the expectation of a future good. Faith goes beyond expectation and is, as the writer of Hebrews states, the substance or reality of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen. The fact that God exists and that He has created all there is, and that we have a relationship with Him, is the substance of our expectations. We hope for things in the future because of what has happened previously.
Back to Romans 8, we see in the verse just prior to our focus verse the following, “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” Romans 8:24. We are saved in hope because we do not see all that our salvation entails. Yes, we see our life changed, how our focus becomes Christ and not ourselves. We understand that our sins are forgiven, and we are united with Christ. We see these present changes in us. However, there is more yet to be revealed. There is the second coming of Christ where He comes to bring an end to this world as it is now. And there is the new heaven and earth which replaces what now exists with a perfect existence where we will live with God forever. These are things not yet seen, these are some of the things we ‘hope’ for.
Therefore, with all this said, we hope for many things that are not visible now. And we have faith that these things will happen because of all God has done up to this day. And if we hope for these things, we will persevere and stand against anything that attempts to convince us otherwise. We will wait eagerly for it because our future, eternal life will be so much better than what we have now. We should live our lives now, fulfilling the calling God has placed on us, to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. But we should also look forward to what we know is coming, as the verse says, waiting eagerly with perseverance.
It is important to never forget or push aside that which we hope for. It is part of our amazing eternal life promised us by God, and it is through this perseverance that we remain strong and devoted to our Lord. What He has promised, He will fulfill. In this we can have confidence. On this is our foundation that helps us stand firm.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.