Tying hope to adoption
When I think of hope, I think of a combination of feelings and desires: expectation, patience, longing, and anticipation.
I longed for many different things as a little kid. I longed for my bangs to grow out quickly when I chopped them off with scissors – and believe me, that built patience. I longed for my soccer team to win our next game – that took less patience, because, admittedly, for a ragtag team of elementary schoolers, we were pretty good. I longed for cookies, too, especially chocolate-chip cookies that were gooey. I always ate the outer edge first and saved the middle for last.
As I grew older, I realized that these hopes were merely surface-level wishes, and they could
not satisfy the depths of my soul.
Listen to Paul speak to this in Romans 8:23-24: 23 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. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Paul says that as Christians, we “wait eagerly” to be adopted as sons (or daughters), so much so that we “groan inwardly.” This inward groaning indicates the soul’s deepest desire, which stands contrary to my surface-level wishes. Paul then follows up with this succinct but jarring statement, “For in this hope we were saved.”
The very foundation of the Christian life is the hope that we will one day be eternally adopted by God. We stand upon this foundation because it penetrates to the depths of our souls.