Tonight I was trying to get some homework complete before this weekend came. I am the type of student that needs to have audio going on in the background in order to properly study. My cat must have sat on the remote because the television had turned on without me doing so. Wheel of Fortune was on and it provided the background noise that I needed. However, as the game wore on, I started to watch instead of focusing on my homework. It was fascinating to see the player’s attitude while spinning the wheel.
As they gave the spinner a spin, they proclaimed, “Big Money.” I chuckled at this, even at the player who did so and landed on the bankrupt square. It got me thinking about the subject of hope. This television show promises to reward people for doing a skill that does not require much effort, but many of these people are “hoping” to win the rewards of either money or a vacation or a car. It was kind of sad to see the player land on the bankrupt square, but even after she had to give up her previous prizes, when it was her turn again, she said the same mantra.
As Christians, we have hope, but it is not like the players on that game show. We don’t have to spin a spinner filled with possible redeemers for our souls or possible places to go when we die. We read in Romans that this hope that has been given to us was given by God Himself: “hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Many times we say, “I hope…(fill in the blank),” but is that truly hope? Later on in the book of Romans, Paul explains what hope is for us as believers of Christ: “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. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience”(Romans 8:19-25).
Hope is not seen. In our world of tangible things, we like to trust in things that we can see, like incoming traffic, food on our table, a friendly face when we return home; but our main source of hope is unseen. Later on in one of Peter’s epistles, we see similar sentiments: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
Let us live life as hopeful people, but also with a joy that is inexpressible. The Redeemer of sinners, creator of heaven and earth, is alive. God places hope inside each one of us through his spirit and this hope will not be taken away, because he placed it there. The things of this world will one day pass away, but one day God will return for his chosen and we will be with him forever in Heaven. This hope is much greater than anything that a television show could ever give.