…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? — Romans 8:24
Hope is the expectation in something that is unseen. “Who hopes for what he has?” Our hopes often lie in what we do not have. Our hopes can fall into any of these categories: physical, spiritual, or related to the soul. We may have fulfilled and unfilled hopes in each of these areas.
David needed deliverance from difficult circumstances, and he cried out to God, in whom he had hope. He needed not only physical deliverance, but also the communion with God. His friends had deserted him and he was being pursued by an enemy.
We need hopes fulfilled at the level of the emotion, the will and tbe mind, where friendship, fellowship, and companionship help fill the need. Our need for friendship and communion with one another is part of our design.
And we also have spiritual hopes, which is ultimately our deepest need– to know Godan know Him and be known by Him, to know our purpose and identity, and to be found in Him.
At any given time, our hopes in the physical realm and at the soul level may not always be fulfilled. But at the core of the spirit, a deepest need can be met. It does not mean we will cease seeking or suffering or wondering. It does not mean that all of our other needs (physical, emotional, etc.) will be met; on the contrary, it may seem as if those needs are far from met. But living in the midst of the fulfillment of the spiritual hope comes an assurance and a security; living in the midst of love and the source of love– in close relationship with God.
In my life, and perhaps yours, many hopes are unfilfulled. Many hopes may be fulfilled already. And yet many still remain unseen. But in the midst of it all is the promise of the living hope, the Spirit to dwell with us. It is life in the Spirit, which makes the rest bearable, doable, even conquerable.
Hope is a gift we are given; it is a light in the darkness.
by Emily Dicksinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.