Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 13 – Continuing In Hope

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  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.  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”  Rom. 8:23-26

Devotional Thought For The Day

There are a lot of things that we hope for, and a lot of things going on all around us that pressure us to give up hope.  A distinction needs to be made between those things which God’s Word promises us, which give us hope – “the redemption of our bodies,” eternal life in the joy and bliss of heaven by virtue of Christ’s self-sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world, versus hopes that we have for earthly things for which there is no promise of God – worldly peace, a decent society, personal freedoms and human dignity, success, etc..  Many of the things that God has promised to us and that “we wait eagerly for” in hope are “unseen.”  It is simply a matter of faith and trust in the Word and promises of God.  That we remain in such faith and hope “the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”  What we don’t know to pray for He prays for us – “with groanings too deep for words.”  What awesome and tremendous comfort – thanks and praise be to God.

There are other worthy things to hope for – out of love we want the best for all people, the best for our nation, our state, our community, our church, our family, our friends and loved ones.  We do all that we can to exert a godly influence, whether at work, in social situations, at church, in our home, or even politically.  We try to continue having high hopes – but we understand that things in this fallen world of sin often do not turn out optimally.  The history of mankind contains numerous examples of utterly wretched failings of individuals, groups, states, nations, and the perversion of entire cultures.  This history also includes the fearful and dismal judgments of God upon such sin and wickedness.  Wise people understand that hope for the good of mankind always involves struggle, and often disappointment.  Those who turn away from God and refuse to live in His gracious love and forgiveness, and hence have no enduring and abiding hope, will incorrigibly work for things that bring about the moral decay and the degradation of humanity.

Still there is hope for children of God – even when what can be seen leads to great sorrow, fearfulness of God’s judgment, and dismay.  God has also promised to work all things together for the good of His people, those called to faith in Jesus Christ [Rom. 8:28].  This includes all of the ignorant and destructive things that entrap the unbelieving and God’s judgments upon them.  Yes, God has promised and so we hope [confidently, on the basis of His Word, even when unseen] that everything will ultimately work out for our greatest good and blessedness – including the tribulations and sufferings that we must endure as we enter the glorious kingdom of God [Acts 14:22; Rom. 8:18].  So while we may have to give up hope for the optimal outcome in some temporal matters, we never give up hope for the ultimate optimal outcome for children of God – for we have God’s promise.  And the assurance that the Spirit also helps us in our praying about these difficult and painful matters.  When we reasonably lose hope in men – because of their ignorance, unbelief, and malfeasance, we never lose hope in God, and the good that is surely coming to us, if not in this life then surely in the next.  Hope, certainty that God will keep His promises of good and blessing to His people, is one of the great strengths of Christians.  May His Spirit grant that we never lose our hope in God!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, issues of cosmic justice are beyond our wisdom, and Your thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts.  Thank You for promising that everything will ultimately work out for the good and blessedness of Your people of faith.  Keep us firm in faith and hope, always anticipating and looking for the good that You are accomplishing for us.  While human beings are a poor source of hope, Your Word is always firm and secure, a constant source of peace, joy, hope, and optimism.  Thanks and praise be to You.  Amen.