“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God…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.”
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
In Christ, we find hope. Hope that is strong, hope that is guaranteed to never fail us.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:3, 13-14
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
So much solid hope is here, in the promises and steadfastness of our God who never changes, the sure and steadfast anchor for our souls.
In the midst of all the hopes found in Christ, there is one particularly stirring my heart. It is the hope—the steady belief and anticipation—that no pain, no difficulty, no wrong we have felt or seen will be wasted.
We have an enemy who comes like a lion, seeking to devour and destroy (1 Peter 5:8). But those of us kept in the firm grasp of God our Savior, those for whom His immeasurably great power is at work, will find that everything our enemy seeks to use for our destruction is instead purposed by our God for good, for joy, for glory.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,
behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
and lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of agate,
your gates of [garnet],
and all your wall of precious stones.”
Our God, the God of all grace, has promised that while we will experience suffering and affliction, He will restore us. And He does not merely restore us to what we were. He takes our broken lives and pieces them together in a beautiful mosaic that displays His glory, His power, and His beauty within us. Our lives are made to shine brilliantly, adorned with precious stones and reflecting more beauty than we could imagine.
This is our hope in Christ. That we are brought from strength to strength, from glory to glory, brought ever-nearer to Him with each step and made more beautiful through our affliction. “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). He who calls us is faithful. He will surely keep us, purify us, restore us, confirm our faith, strengthen us, establish us, and make us into beautiful reflections of His glory. So let us rejoice in the Lord, even in our sufferings, holding fast to our faith for the joy that is set before us.