We were saved, ·and we have this hope [or …by this hope; L in hope]. If we see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. ·People do not hope [L For who hopes…?] for something they already have.
It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
But by hope we be made safe. For hope that is seen, is not hope; for who hopeth that thing, that he seeth? [Soothly by hope we be made safe. Forsooth the hope that is seen, is not hope; for why what hopeth a man that thing, that he seeth?]
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