Read Romans 8:24-25
24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) (NLT)
We hear some people say that seeing is believing. Christians beg to differ. We don’t see and yet believe. We haven’t seen Jesus’ resurrection but we believe it. We didn’t see God make the world but we believe he did. We can’t see the Holy Spirit but we believe he is with us. We might term this faith.
Then again, we can’t see the future. We can’t see what is going to happen tomorrow or the day after. We cannot foresee the time or circumstances of our death. We cannot predict the destiny and shape of life of our children. We can’t know what challenges and delights we will face or how God will make himself real to us in them. We might term this hope.
In common usage, hope is like wishful thinking. I hope it will be fine weather; I hope I get that job; I hope my team wins the grand final. In biblical usage it is not like that. Hope is a confident expectation that God will be faithful. It involves faith, but also involves waiting. Because our text reminds us that hope is only relevant when we don’t yet experience what we confidently expect will happen.
Hope is faith, holding out its hand in the dark.