Original photo by Eitan
Daily Reform, Psalm 122:1-9
From the Reformer
Faith and hope are variously distinguishable. And, first, in regard of the subject, wherein everything subsists: faith consists in a person’s understanding, hope in the will; these two cannot be separated; they are like the two cherubim over the mercy seat.
Secondly, in regard of the office; faith indicts, distinguishes, and teaches, and is the knowledge and acknowledgment; hope admonishes, awakens, hears, expects, and suffers.
Thirdly, in regard to the object: faith looks to the word or promise, which is truth; but hope to that which the Word promises, which is the good or benefit.
—Martin Luther, Table Talk
Pulling It Together
A saint is not simply a sinner who keeps on trying. A saint is, first and finally, a sinner for whom Christ died. As such, a saint is one who stands by faith, hoping in the promise of God, even when her works fail her. When all strength is gone and she cannot try again, she still believes. A saint is one who continues to stand on the promise of Christ when all her works have failed and she can stand no more.
“Our feet have been standing within your gates.” This is the attitude of the faithful. Even when they have not arrived they are already there. Let us go to where our feet have been standing! William Temple said, “If we are traveling heavenward, we are already in heaven.” If we are headed to the house of God, our feet are already standing in the gates. That which we know by faith produces a hope of beingness—not our own being, but of being found in Christ (Phil 3:9) despite ourselves.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers