Christ Is Hope’s Substantiation

And we are not the inspectors of its inventory any more than we are the arbiters of reality:

In this sense we can say that we worship continuously in hoping continuously. We can connect our thinking about hope to that of faith by saying first that hope is the forward joy of substance and evidence [a page earlier the author unpacks how faith is a gift given and thus needs nothing outside itself to substantiate it: “Faith does not bring substance and evidence to something; faith is itself substance and evidence, even in the absence of the very things for which faith hopes.”]. Hope is not something we lay hold of in the absence of substance. We cannot afford to say that because there is no substance and evidence now, I will hope that it will appear sooner or later. This delegates hope to a conditional role that depends more on my quantitative [i.e. my own subjective and flawed] concept of substance and evidence. Then I begin to interpret substance and evidence by what I observe happening around me. I become the interpreter and measurer; faith ceases to be faith and hope forsakes itself by resting in what it can see. In short, I have confined God to my spiritual backyard.

But hope that is seen is not hope (Romans 8:24). How surprising that this statement immediately follows this one: “For we were saved in this hope” (NKJV; or even “We are saved by hope,” KJV). That is, even though substance and evidence may abound around me, whether of faith or of works, I cannot rest in what I can see. I must press on from hope into continued hope, remembering that I am not guessing at something but trusting fully in that which, from the eternities, has already been substantively realized in the Lord of all hope. Our hope, then, is in Christ, just as our faith is. The substance and evidence, both realized and hoped for, are securely unified in the Savior…

Christ is, literally, our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
(Harold Best, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, pp. 31-32)


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