I don’t know, but if you have a few minutes, open Sacred Scripture to Romans 8:18-30 and read it—read it out loud, allowing the words to enter the atmosphere of your room. It doesn’t matter was translation you read because you will walk away illuminated with God’s wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
There’s more here than I could discuss in one sitting. So, where do I begin?
As we slowly journey through these passages, we discover
- the value in suffering,
- the groaning of creation
- the hope in our salvation,
- the move of the Holy Spirit on our behalf,
- the confidence in the Lord Himself
- the God’s sovereign love
Do We Suffer?
Despite what you might have learned in the past. We Christians are not immune to suffering. There’s no vaccine for that. We will see sorrow, feel heartache, and discover illness. The Lord is in the healing business, so don’t be afraid.
The world would like you to live in fear.
No, don’t accept it! That’s not your inheritance. Faith transcends fear through the empowering presence of God and the inner strength He’s given you. Imagine, the spiritual experiences you treasure in the Secret/Sacred Place prove the “with-God” life is true.
Not that God shields us from every trouble and trial. No. Better yet, He does what He does for our good. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. He feels our suffering and knows intimately the illness we bear. If it is His will to heal then He will, but maybe there’s something He’s doing in the sorrow, pain, and heartache we can’t understand right now. Trust Him for what you understand. Even more, trust Him for what you don’t.
But this one thing we know for sure, God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. He is not far off from us. He is as close as the breath you breathe and as near as the beating of your heart. The peace that passes all understanding isn’t so much for the sunshine as much as the storm.
Don’t lose heart. We suffer, but we do not suffer in vain, alone, or forever. Even creation suffers and groans in anticipation of that new heaven and the new earth. Creation does not suffer in vain. According to C.S. Lewis, this too is our blessed hope. We are looking ahead to our future.
A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.C. S. Lewis.
Why Does Creation Groan?
Creation is not immune to suffering, either. She was never meant to see corruption, decay, earthquakes, contamination, pollution, or the painful tearing away of her core.
Creation groans, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come!”
In the deep recesses of her memory, Creation knows in her heart the time the Creator looked at her and said, “It is good.” She remembers that sweet Garden of Eden as she watched the first man and woman fellowship with God in the cool of the evening.
Creation remembers when all humanity fell into that spiritual abyss, for she was swept into it as well. So great a death cannot be forgotten, and so she groans.
She did not accept this mantle. She remembers it all too well and waits in expectation for the future. Creation places her trust in her faithful Creator. He has not forgotten her.
She moves from groans to glory.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For creation eagerly awaits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.Romans 8:18-19 ESV.
Our Blessed Hope
Yes, daughters and sons of the Most High, your future is secure—a new heaven and a new earth – the place where God literally dwells among us. This glory Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden will one day be ours. Let us not escape nor neglect so great a salvation awaiting us.
For this reason, we pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
This salvation had its beginning when it was spoken by the LORD, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distribution of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to His will.Hebrews 2:1-4 ESV.
Our suffering is short-lived, and will not be in vain.
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1Peter 4:13
How to Live While Waiting
Two things help us face whatever happens today or the future:
- One is the indwelling Holy Spirit, who assists us in prayer – allowing us to pray according to His will. The most dangerous place for any Christian is outside God’s will.
- The second is God’s Sovereign faithfulness to work all things together for our good because He loves us, and we’re called according to His purpose.
God shows Himself faithful to the faithful.
From before the beginning of time, God “predestined” so great a salvation – our inheritance in Christ Jesus. We’re all invited. Those who’ve accepted that invitation will enter His rest. We will suffer no more. Listen. Now you can hear Creation breathe a sigh of relief and cry, Hallelujah!”
From groans to glory—our blessed hope will is revealed!
Heaven and earth will pass away, but the glory of the Lord lasts forever. Look at the book of Revelation. The last chapter tells the story of our glory. Look, the victory of the Victor is revealed. You will see what great things the Lord has done for you, and yes, for Creation.
After this, I looked and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number; standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and palm branches in their hands. And they cried in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”Revelation 7:9-10 ESV.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: “Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more because the previous things have passed away.”Revelation 21:1 & 3-4 ESV.
I assure you, what God says He’ll do, He’ll do. You can trust Him. Watch, wait in anticipation, for the Lord your God is coming.
We’re moving from groans to glory.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies, so they will be like His glorious body.Philippians 3:20-21
“The only air of the soul, in which it can breathe and live, is the present God …; that is our heaven, our home, our all-right place.”George Macdonald.
Join us next week as we finish out the 8th Chapter of Romans. Can anything separate us from God’s love?
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