And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:23-25
While we have the Spirit in Christ we only have his first fruits so to speak. We see in the mirror dimly right now, as Paul says. (1 Corinthians 13:12) We know we’re adopted and redeemed, but in our bodies because we are not yet glorified, it doesn’t feel that way. If Paul calls himself wretched (Romans 7:14) then we can expect to be frustrated as well, having to drag this dirty old carcass around for now.
Our present condition produces a continuing reliance upon our eternal hope to live each day. It’s better to be fueled by hope than a sense that this is all there is. Buy a new car and you’ll know what I mean. You have what you hoped for and now what? Soon the new car smell fades.
This yearning for it all causes us to groan as we struggle to persevere. But in all cases, we can persevere in our frustrating humanity in and by the spirit. As we do our hope in what lies ahead grows.
I remember my grandmother. Such a hard life. She lost her gifted firstborn son to pneumonia when he was 17. Her husband, a lawyer, coped with the loss with alcohol and never was the same. They lost everything and lived in the projects. She never had a home of her own that I know of. But through it all, no one could shake her hope in the Lord. Living for a time with each of her surviving sons, she touched her grandchildren in such a way that they could not help but yearn for what she had. I remember her sitting out in the family room in the dead of night groaning deeply and crying out to God. But she never gave up hope. Now in glory she sees clearly why it was all worth it.