Paul shared a word of hope with the first century church that still encourages me today.
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him”
1 Corinthians 2:9 NRSV
Paul shares a promise for everyone who finds hope in Christ Jesus. Paul looked toward a future seen only by faith. Believers live in a world broken by sin, death, and evil--but in Jesus' death and resurrection the promise take shape: God has a future for all who believe. But it is known by only faith. Believers look to a day when God's kingdom will be seen--but today it's known by faith.
As a kid I sang the wordsEye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him in a great song written by Marty Haugen. There is hope in Jesus that transcends the senses. Only by faith do believers know the promise is real. I want more than faith. I want evidence. But Paul wrote of a reality beyond evidence--beyond human conceptual ability and imagination. There is a future. It's never been experienced--but it's known by faith in the God who made all creation and redeemed it in the life and death of Jesus. This promise echos through time. Trust in God's promise in-spite of very real fears and anxieties. God has even better ready for you who believe.
Paul borrowed language from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4). Isaiah was speaking about how God is unique in all time and places
From ages past no one has heard,The prophet spoke to God's unique place in all time. And Paul used this language to describe the promised Kingdom of God.
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4 NRSV
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.People can imagine the kingdom of God. But Paul speaks plainly of the mystery known through faith--through the work of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NRSV
Peace and thanks for reading, John