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 8:24-25
Scripture reading: Romans 8:18–25
Recently, I translated the story of a young Egyptian Muslim who was converted to the Christian faith through the testimony of a Christian girlfriend at school. She found peace with God that she could not find in the Allah of Islam. As soon as her parents discovered her conversion, her ordeal began. She was dragged to the police authorities where she was interrogated and beaten. As she refused to return to Islam, she was thrown out of her home! Eventually, she managed to leave Egypt and lead a new life.
Her experience has been duplicated many times throughout history. It illustrates what Paul teaches as he reached the end of his exposition of the Gospel. He referred to the sufferings of this age, balancing them with the glories that will be revealed at the return of Jesus Christ. It is in this sense that we understand: “For in this hope we were saved.” The full benefits of our salvation will be realized in the future; in the meantime, we must wait patiently for that Day.
Any attempt to deny that the fullness of the Kingdom of God awaits the Second Advent leads to the secularization of the Gospel. In the past century, several Protestant Churches succumbed to this temptation by adopting the “Social Gospel.” It caused divisions among these churches. It was disastrous in the mission fields, as I experienced in Syria. Mission schools promoted a secularized “gospel” which led to the weakening of the young Protestant Churches!
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Lord of the Church to enable ministers and church leaders “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”