Groaning for Redemption and Waiting in Patience

If your circumstances do not change, is God enough??? If indeed God does not change the things in our life that we want changed, is He enough for us?

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18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:19-25

Groaning

In this moment, I feel the effects of the whole creation fallen into sin.?? The apostle Paul calls these the birthpangs — the pains of childbirth — bringing to mind an image of a mother giving birth to a child, and the moment of creation.?? Powerful in its imagery, he relates this to our present situation in the Spirit: you and I have the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit, but still we are crying and groaning on the inside, waiting in eager expectation of that future day when all will be made right, when all things will be made new, when we will finally be fully adopted as sons — when our bodies shall be redeemed.Do you not feel the the pain of Paul’s heart in his words??? Do you not feel your own heart break and does your not soul not ache as you read these Spirit-inspired words? Doesn’t it feel like sometimes that everything is wrong with this world??? Have you ever seen, felt, smelt and touched the world as it is, and by some miraculous reason you are able to see above and beyond what is really there… that this world, as it is in front of you, was not the way it’s supposed to be??? (Maybe it’s kind of like in The Matrix movies, and you now have the ability to see through the reality of the world and you now can see the truth behind the illustion, the code behind the visualization.)?? Oh how amazing is this sight!?? But oh, how painful it is to know that this was not what God meant it all to be!These are the moments in life when I feel the brokenness of my heart, and the futility of my body: all of this, it just isn’t right.?? Everything that has happened, it shouldn’t have happened.?? Everything seemed right; everything was done — as best as it could have been — according to God’s Word, and yet it still happened.?? What is wrong with this world??? What is wrong with me??? How in the world can God be so right and just and good, even as such things result from the hands of us fallen creatures??? Why did this all happen, and how could God allow this all the fall apart?

Hope

In the midst of all these questions, doubts, and fears, one truth remains: hope, ??????????????.?? We have a certain expectation that everything will one day be made right; everything will soon be made new; everything that failed according to human intuition will be redeemed unto Divine success.?? You and I will be free from bondage to corruption — oh, how we have been corrupted by our sinful nature, by the sins we have committed against each other and ourselves!?? Corruption will be no more, and freedom for glory will be our clear and present reality!This is why we groan and yearn — we live in the time between the already and the not yet, between Christ’s resurrection and parousia.?? We long for the completion and fulfillment of God’s saving work in Christ.?? As His sons (and daughters), we have a great inheritance in redemption and yet we also eagerly anticipate receiving the yet greater privilege of receiving perfect, resurrection body.?? A body that does not sin or fall short of God’s glory, a body that does not hurt or hurt each other, a body that will never fail.So having this assurance, let us be convinced that the sufferings we endure now are totally insignificant compared to this hope we have in Christ.?? May we be convinced that everything that has gone wrong is so markedly scant that it will all be shown to be nothing in comparison to the glory that is to be revealed.?? And when the full purposes of God is finally and fully revealed to us in the heavenly place, our hearts will surely count all the travails and tribulations we have endured to be pure joy.In the meantime, we patiently await the hope and Person that we do not see, and let the Spirit turn our groaning into prayer.

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