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In no way could I summarize a comprehensively thematic study of hope as it is revealed in the Bible's chronology. Nor am I equipped to contrast such an idea with Jurgen Moltmann's so-called "theology of hope." But what I can do is reflect on some passages that have deeply spoken to me in the last few days that may bring some unity to the Testaments.

Romans 8:18-39. In this passage Paul contrasts our present sufferings with our future glory. A day will come when creation will be liberated from death and decay as God's people are made anew. With this in mind we "groan" along with creation in expectation for that day. The "groaning" we experience is related to our hope in that we desire something not of this world, yet believe that in a new world it will be fulfilled. In this state we are weak, but the Holy Spirit who resides in us, "intercedes" for us with "groans" of his own that preserve us until that day when God sets everything to rights. God works on behalf of his people for their good, which is defined as being conformed to the very image of Christ himself. This is assured by his call, the work of Christ, and his promise. We can know that God will make good on his promise of blessing towards us because he has already given us the greatest thing he could conceive, his own Son. On this basis we are under no condemnation. Nothing in all creation, not our suffering or even our sinfulness, can separate us from his love.

2 Corinthians 5:1-21. Here, Paul again speaks of our "groaning" as we long for our "heavenly dwelling" or perhaps a more accurate understanding, "our home made not by human hands." Again our longing for new creation is bound up with the promise that we will be "clothed" with "life" that will "swallow" up our mortality. This is God's intention towards us, and he gives the Holy Spirit as a "deposit" guaranteeing that it will one day come. This gives us confidence in this life as we affirm its truth, not by empirical evidence, but by trust in God who promises it. By understanding that we will all one day appear before God's throne of judgment and that we have been given such a hope, we no longer look at people from a perspective informed by the values of this world. Instead, we make an appeal on behalf of God to be reconciled to him, to be apart of the new creation, and find a righteousness through Christ who became what we are and worse for us.

Philippians 3:1-21. In this passage Paul contrasts his "confidence in the flesh" with his "knowing Christ." Like in the previous passage where Paul says he views no one from a worldly standpoint anymore, neither does he view himself. He lists reasons why he could be confident in this life but considers them "garbage" in comparison to knowing Christ. He even goes so far to say that he counts them as loss, so that he might gain all that he can in Christ, even suffering, so that he can participate in the "resurrection of the dead." He does this by "forgetting what lies behind" and presses onward to take hold of a prize that is already been taken hold of for him by Christ. Everyone should take a view of such things. It brings sorrow to Paul's heart to see people "glory in their shame" and serve "the god" of their appetites. He ends my contrasting the mind set on earthly things with the hopeful mind set on "heavenly citizenship" that will come with the transformation of our "lowly bodies" into glorious ones.

Psalm 73. In this psalm Asaph reflects on the vexing problem of seeing wicked people experience blessing. He laments that it has been in vain that he has kept his heart pure, and he feels oppressed by his embittered thoughts. Yet he remembers that God is with him and will set all things to rights. He asks of God, "Whom have I in heaven but you?" and states" Earth has nothing I desire besides you."

For the Christian who may be suffering whatever trial, whatever loss, whatever hurt there is hope. God will not look on forever. Our lives will not end in misery and decay, nor will God withhold good from us. God will make all things new and will reveal glory in us that far surpasses any pleasure or status we could find in this created order. He is for us, and because of this we can claim victory over death and despair. We do not have this yet, but we will have it one day. We implore others to take hold of what Christ has taken hold of for them, because if they don't they will reap the fleeting rewards of trading their birthright for a bowl of soup. We can remember that when we are hungry for the things of this world, and while others are seemingly satisfied with eating to their heart's content, God is our portion and strength forever, even if our heart and flesh may fail.

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