Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:24-25)
Someone suggested to me this past week that we do not need hope as Christians – for we have a surety of Christ’s salvation. Perhaps. For many of us, we do not need hope in that sense.
However, all of us need to live into the hope the Holy Spirit does give us: a hope for a better world, a renewed life, a remade mission. This is the unseen hope to which we cling and for which we wait, as Paul so eloquently puts it.
Towards the end of my sermon this past weekend, I stated: “The good news is that there is still new life available and ahead of us. God is not finished with us yet.”
What a blessing that good news is! Think about – wherever we are right now, whatever we’ve been through, whatever we are going through – the best is still yet to come.
I know, for me personally, there are many days when I need to hear that good news stated again and again. Life get busy or messy or challenging and it feels like the struggle will never end. One promise of God is that God is with us in all of these things, in the muck and mire of life and on the mountaintops, walking with us through it all.
However, there is the promise beyond mere survival and subsistence. There is light at the end of the tunnel (and no it is not just a freight train headed our way). The light will get brighter. The tunnel will end. And there is more beyond the tunnel where the light resides – new life. Fuller life. Joyous life.
Though we often focus on these promises as individuals, they are also for us as a group. The body of Christ has matchless promises throughout scripture that God will be with us. God is working among us. God is not finished with us yet.
This year marks the 35th year since our charter at Highland Presbyterian Church. It is a time of rejoicing in and remembering all that we have been and done. And it is a time to seek new hope for the life that God has placed ahead us. God is not finished with Highland and there is new life on the way. May we all find the patience we need to wait for that hope’s coming and the courage and energy we need to make it a reality.