Day 18

Give Thanks in Waiting

from the reading plan

Isaiah 40:27-31, Luke 2:25-38, Romans 8:18-28

There are certain experiences in life we look forward to with eager anticipation: getting a driver’s license, voting for the first time, graduating college, landing a first job, perhaps getting married and having children, achieving certain career goals, and maybe even retirement. In all of these, there is the built-in excitement of hoping for what we have not yet seen or experienced. However, once these milestones have been reached and they become a part of our regular life, it can seem pretty mundane.

When I think about it, there’s something right about the dullness that inevitably follows these experiences; they cannot compare to the solid joys and lasting treasure that come with hoping in the glorious future God promises to all His children. In the pattern of hoping for what we do not yet see, we are met with the reality that nothing in this world can provide true and lasting satisfaction.

“Hope that is seen,” wrote the apostle Paul, “is not hope.” By contrast, “If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24–25). This is the essence of the promise of the gospel in Scripture. We are meant to hope for what we do not see and have not yet fully experienced.

When Isaiah came to the turning point of his prophetic message in chapter 40, he set out the glorious resurrection hope that believers eagerly anticipate as we wait for Christ’s return.

Those who trust in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not become weary,
they will walk and not faint.
—Isaiah 40:31

In many of life’s moments, we may struggle to understand how we will come to attain these promises. But we are encouraged to pursue them by faith. Jesus has secured an everlasting joy, an inheritance of hope for His people through His death and resurrection. Though we do not now see all that He has for us, we wait for it with patience. Because of the saving work of Jesus Christ crucified and risen, there are no uncertain promises of God. Even as we wait to see these promises come to pass and we long for them now, we will not be disappointed. This is the essence of hope—it works in us even when we do not see precisely how things will work out.

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