We Wait For Patience!
Romans 8: 25
"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope;
for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see,
then do we with patience wait for it." ( Verses 24-25)
Hope that is seen is not hope.
Hope cannot be identified with sight, because something which has come to the point of sight
is no longer a thing to be hoped for.
It would cease to be a matter of hope, if it were a matter of sight -- for hope that is seen is not hope,
for what we see we do not hope for.
What is in possession is no longer in prospect.
The thing for which we hope is the full and glorious salvation which the gospel reveals.
"It is certain, though yet unseen; it is valid, though yet the future."
The men of the world hope for riches and the material, the perishable things of this life.
But we, as believers, hope for an inheritance in heaven that will never fade away.
The person who is earth-bound is not heaven-bound.
For he is wholly immersed in the cares and joys of this present life -- he lives without Christ.
He dies with the inscription written upon his tombstone:
"He loved the darkness rather than the light because his deeds were evil."
We hope for what we see not -- we wait for it -- that waiting is called patience.
Between hope and enjoyment of the thing hoped for -- are delays -- struggles within
and afflictions from without -- and hope would be turned into despair if it were not supported by patience.
The stress upon patience is a fitting finale to the whole passage of verses 18-25.
It is with the consummation of redemption that the passage is concerned.
The consummating act of redemption will bring to completion the process of redemption, and process means history.
It is in that history that the sons of God now find themselves.
So, in verse 25, the Christians are hoping for what they do not yet see and are waiting for it with patience.
As a rule the Greek word for patience stands for perseverance, but here the word, patience, is a better translation.
Verse 25 turns us to the practical connection of hope with the present situation:
"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
We are now men of hope -- the goal towards which we look is still out of sight.
But our hope is as sure as that of men who look for the sunrise; therefore it becomes
the mainspring of intent and patient waiting.
The companion of hope is patience.
The Christian hope must be joined with patience because our goal (of heaven) seems so distant from us.
And our way is troublesome and dangerous.
It is full of annoyances.
There are thousands of things contrary to our hope.
There are also the assaults and temptations of Satan constantly trying us.
Therefore, hope must be linked with patience.
Patience and hope are brothers.
Hope by its very nature breeds patience.
The more we hope -- the more patient we either are or at least have cause to be -- in that regard.
Hope is imbued with that same confidence which characterizes faith (cf. Hebrews 11: 1)
as faith is contrasted with sight (2 Corinthians 5: 7).
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
So hope and faith are not dimmed although its object is not present to sense
or attained by inexperience -- it is "with patience we wait for it."
Now, let's apply this text to ourselves that it may rebuke us of our times
of impatience... in trials... in doubts.
In these times we are ready to complain and murmur even against God Himself.
We tend to complain when:
In case of wants -- others having when we don't.
In case of distress, trouble, affliction, and delays.
It doesn't take much to spot our own times of impatience.
Impatience never helps.
It only increases our misery and adds to the affliction which is upon us.
Impatience is revealed when we attempt to claim for the present what is reserved for us in eternity.
Expectancy and hope cannot cross the bounds of history.
We must wait for the "adoption" to be ultimately realized.
We must wait for the redemption of the body.
As long as hope prevails, the battle is being won.
In verse 23 believers are said to be waiting for the adoption, and here in verse 25 we are induced
to wait -- to wait patiently.
It is our hope supported by patience.
Patiently bearing our burdens, and waiting for heaven -- knowing that it is reserved for us.
We have been sealed by His Spirit.
His precious Spirit has given us an earnest of our inheritance and His resurrection guarantees it.
So, we can be more patient than others who wait.
To wait is the most profound truth of our normal, everyday life and work.
Every farmer, every mother, every father, and every boy and world knows the necessity of waiting...
We must wait because there is something beyond the good and evil of this life,
something beyond joy and sorrow, beyond life and death.
In everything -- every segment of our world and our life -- we wait in happiness
and disappointments, in growth and decay.
We must wait because we are expecting something better -- so much better -- beyond.
Spiritually, we see what to our sight is invisible, and therefore we wait.
So, we wait -- but not as animals for execution, but as a bride waiting for the wedding.
The joy is sure to come.
So, let us not gripe and complain as though God's purpose has been hindered -- that will never happen.
Paul pushes the word, "wait," into our thoughts and allows it to speak to us with quiet finality.
There is no apathy in this waiting spirit.
It is not the kind of a cowardly manner that requires itself to the burdens of the moment.
It is a patience that looks back to the trials of the present time
and forward to "the glory which shall be revealed." (8: 18)
It is the great virtue of God-given endurance and fortitude which helps men to endure trial
and darkness, knowing that: "Joy, cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30: 5)
It speaks assuredly of a strong and active desire which looks forward
with eager expectation to the promised event.
Therefore, hope and patience unite to make men wait for the glory which is yet unseen,
but which is as sure as the dawn.
"My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning." (Psalm 130: 6)
Have you ever watched for the morning?
This was beautifully illustrated in the life of Dr. Horatius Bonar, the great Scottish preacher and poet,
whose whole ministry had been warmed and inspired by the promise of the coming of Jesus.
During a long illness, and right before he died, his eyes constantly rested on the text
which hung on the wall at the foot of his bed:
"Until the day break, and the shadows flee away." (Song of Solomon 2: 17; 4: 6)
One day -- that great day -- will break for each of us and then the shadows will flee away.
Jesus is "the dayspring from on high." (Luke 1: 78)
Jesus is "the bright and morning star." (Revelation 22: 16)
Therefore, hope stands on tiptoe, waiting "until the day dawn and the day-star arise." (2 Peter 1: 19)
"The heavens shall glow with splendor,
But brighter far than they
The saints shall shine in glory
As Christ shall them array;
The beauty of the Saviour
Shall dazzle every eye,
In the crowning day
That's coming by and by.
Oh, the crowning day is coming,
Is coming by and by,
When our Lord shall come in power,
And glory from on high.
Oh, the glorious sight will gladden
Each waiting, watchful eye,
In the crowning day that's coming
By and by."
"One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine...
One day He's coming -- O glorious day!"
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.com