“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. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.’”
GOD'S HOPE FOR CREATION
Hope. What a gift hope is! It becomes the engine for our waiting, when we are between the promise spoken and the promise fulfilled. Hope is what keeps our patience on track and our faith engaged. And when we look at what Paul raptures upon—that creation is waiting for us, that its waiting is in the hopes of seeing the glory of God revealed in us, and that through our freedom the creation will be set free—we can easily see how he gets so taken up and swept away in the grand scheme of God’s plan for us.
That plan, oddly enough, hinges on hope. And this isn’t just any hope: it’s not wishy-washy, or weak-minded fantasizing, or wishful thinking. This isn’t human hope but divine hope that comes straight from God’s heart. This is His hope we are dealing with, and it’s a hope that doesn’t disappoint, as Paul says earlier in Romans. This is a hope that is His own personal hope, given to us as a gift to get us to the places in His heart where glory erupts; a glory that can change everything about us and, truth be told, the world itself. You and I are God’s hope for the creation’s freedom. That’s a tall order, admittedly, but He isn’t depending on our abilities. No. He gives us His own. Faith is a gift that draws us near to Him; hope is a gift that teaches us to expect fervently and confidently what He expects for us.
Confident expectation—that’s what hope is. It is God’s fervent, excited anticipation of how Christlike we will become, because of the work of the Spirit in us. And that Christlikeness has the potential to be so profound that it begins to change the world around us. One Man, full of God’s hope, began to remake the world—and just like Jesus did, the hope which God gives us, the hope of His glory shining through us to a broken and dying world—that hope has the power to transform those around us, to reshape the world in ways that will reflect His glory back to Him.
Like those who came before us and those to follow after, we are part of the answer to the mess the world is in, and the basis for us as the answer to the world’s dilemma is simple: He gave us His own hope, the very same hope Jesus used to start to remake the world and humanity. Trust the hope of Jesus: He hopes something profound about us, and gave us His profound hope with which to accomplish all that He hopes for the world. His hope is the starting point for our, and the world’s, total renewal.