24 We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? 25 But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.
26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. 27 The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. 28 We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.
All of creation is groaning. The world and all its people are suffering. We are surrounded by seemingly unsolvable problems of pandemic, hatred and global unrest. It’s difficult to pray because we are overcome with anger or sadness and we don’t know what to pray for. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and to give up and feel hopeless.
But hope is alive! Paul tells us we are saved in hope. The promise of salvation is also our future hope as we gaze into the eternal horizon waiting patiently for its fulfillment. As Spirit-filled children of God, we live in a state of becoming. The Spirit is always with us, guiding us and transforming us to be more like Jesus. In this way, the Spirit renews our hope each day.
So when we find ourselves feeling hopeless and in despair, the Spirit comforts us and helps us in our weakness. The Spirit searches our hearts and prays through us to align our prayers with God’s will, so that his “Kin(g)-dom will come, his will be done.” Through prayer our hope becomes stronger.
While God does not cause suffering, his own Son Jesus suffered and died for our sins, so God knows us and is with us in our suffering. Through his Spirit, God is at work restoring and transforming the suffering of our world for good, with us who love God, and are called according to his purpose. We are saved in hope to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
You are saved in hope. In what way is God calling you to pray? Is God calling you to work with him in your home or community to work for the transformation of the world? Today look for opportunities to serve and pray.
Prayer: Gracious God, we don’t know what we should pray, but we know that we are saved in hope, transformed by your love, and ready to bring your hope of salvation to a suffering world. Amen.