For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? (ESV)
Do you have hope? I hope you do. That play on words was intentional. We have a notion about hope that is basically a wish for something that we do not have much faith in actually happening. A person might say, "I hope it doesn't rain today." "I hope I win the lottery." One might even say, "I hope things get better."
Paul is talking about hope in a different way. The biblical view of hope is not a wish that something would happen, but rather a confidence that it will happen, it just has not happened yet. This is the kind of hope that we were saved in. We placed our faith in Jesus Christ. His promise was eternal life. Have we experienced eternity yet? No. Yet, real hope has confidence in God's promise.
We could complain that we are not experiencing all that God has promised. We could be prone to feel hopeless. Paul addresses this when he says, "Now hope that is seen is not hope." For hope to be legitimate it has to be unseen. Hope looks forward to what is to come, knowing with confidence that the giver of hope is faithful to provide what is promised.
It is helpful to go back a few verses in this chapter. In verse 18 Paul talks about the sufferings of this current world not being comparable to the glory that awaits us. This is real hope. We know that the full reality of our salvation is waiting to be revealed. It will be worth it. The Lord has been so good to us. He has proved his faithfulness. Imagine how wonderful it will be to finally be in his presence!
You do not see all that God has in store for you. That is ok. Hold on to the hope that God gives to you. Biblical hope is based on the certainty of God's promises, not flimsy wishes. I hope you have a good day.