For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In 312 A.D., emperor Constantine of Rome marched off to war. He looked up at the sun and saw a cross of light above it and the words, “In this [sign, you will] conquer.” Tradition claims that the following night, Constantine had a dream. In this dream, Christ explained to Constantine that he should use the sign of the cross to conquer his foes.
However, Christ’s victory on Calvary does not assure us of earthly victories over foreign enemies, financial woes, failing health, or our favorite sports nemeses. Rather, it assures us that Christ conquered sin. And his victory when he walked out of the tomb assures us that he conquered death. Death was not the end of Jesus. Jesus was the end of death.
We live in confident hope that Jesus will give us eternal victory over the rule of sin and death. We live in certain anticipation that he will rouse us from our earthen beds and reunite our resting souls with our renewed bodies. We live in peaceful patience for the day when he will renew all creation and banish the old ways of sadness, suffering, and death.
The hopes of the earthly-minded rise and fall. The real hope given by God to all who focus on the cross of Christ is that Jesus will return and fix everything wrong with this broken world forever.
Jesus, grant me patience as I wait for the joys of the eternal life you promise to provide. Amen.