From Suffering to Glory

A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the affect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water, and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The … More

Hope

Sin caused the creation to fall from its perfect state (vv. 18-21). As Christians we can see the world physically decaying and spiritually degenerating with this sin. However, we do not need to be pessimistic, because we have a blessed hope. Brighter days indeed lie ahead for the whole creation (Rev. 22:3), for a time is coming when the curse will be removed, and creation will be restored to its original splendor. We also will be resurrected with our glorified bodies, like the body Christ now has in heaven (I Cor. 15:25-28).

Paul says that our future glory with Christ will be so great that our present sufferings are insignificant in comparison (v. 8). Also this glory will be forever, while the suffering in this life is temporary.

Yes, God has cursed the physical creation as a part of His judgment on people for sin. Creation does not share in the provisions of grace. This deliverance will not be until the Millennium. Creation will experience groaning and travailing in birth pangs throughout this present age(vv. 22-25). As believers we have received the salvation of our souls, but we too groan in union with the groaning creation, as we wait to receive the redemption of our bodies and be fully like Him. Once we groaned in bondage, but now we groan in grace (vv. 26-28).

God has promised that a believer’s body will finally be delivered from sin, and those who have responded by faith to that promise have a confident expectation of that bodily redemption (Galatians 5:5). The redemption of the body (v. 23) obviously has not yet occurred, but is eagerly anticipated.

Application

When I’m sick, and my body is literally groaning with pain, I have the blessed hope that one day my body will be delivered from the effects of sin. This should not only bring great comfort to me, but is something I can share with others who know the Lord and are experiencing pain in their bodies.

Romans 8:18-27 (English Standard Version)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 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. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 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. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

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