Romans 8:24-25 “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.”
As Alexander the Great was preparing for his conquest in Asia, he examined the finances of his supporters. To assure that they would not be troubled over the welfare of their families during their duty at war, he distributed crown estates and revenues among them. When Alexander the Great got rid of nearly all the royal resources he had, his friend General Perdiccas asked Alexander what he had kept for himself. “Hope,” answered the king. Perdiccas cheerfully replied “In that case, we who share in your labors will also take part in your hopes.” He then refused the estate given to him, and many other of the king’s friends did the same.
In the letter written to the Romans, the Apostle Paul is encouraging them to have hope with patience. This is a man who received thirty-line lashes from the Jews, beaten with rods, shipwrecked three times, and almost stoned to death. He had been on frequent journeys, in danger from robbers, countrymen, and false brothers who endeavored to destroy the testimony of Paul.
However, like general Perdiccas, Paul refused material comfort for hope. Instead, he gave up all the resources he had to put his hope in the eternal King, Jesus Christ. This hope is infinitely better than what Alexander could provide. King Jesus provides resurrection from the dead (Acts 23:6), the redemption of the body and the whole creation (Rom. 8:23-25), eternal glory (Col. 1:27), eternal life and the inheritance of the saints (Tit. 3:5-7), and the joy of personally knowing the Creator God Jesus forever (1 Tim. 1:1).
APPLICATION: When you have time, memorize Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” When your at work, school, in the car, at home doing the dishes, mediate on this truth. The enemy will surely come and whisper words of discouragement, and instead of dwelling on those lies, think on the verse that is true; that is, our hope in Christ!