Monday, February 12, 2018


This is how I work it out. The sufferings we go through in the present time are not worth putting in the scale alongside the glory that is going to be unveiled for us. Yes: creation itself is on tiptoe with expectation, eagerly awaiting the moment when God’s children will be revealed. … Let me explain. We know that the entire creation is groaning together, and going through labour pains together, up until the present time. Not only so: we too, we who have the first fruits of the spirit’s life within us, are groaning within ourselves, as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our body. We were saved, you see, in hope. But hope isn’t hope if you can see it! Who hopes for what they can see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it eagerly – but also patiently (Romans 8.18-19, 22-25, N.T. Wright, TKNT).

This helpful translation from N.T. Wright’s, The Kingdom New Testament, highlights a couple truths we touched on yesterday in our message, from Luke 9.18-27

Truth #1: Suffering is part of this present age. There is no denying that suffering is part of the deal. Indeed, much suffering comes our way because of our inability to grasp that presently, part of being human will involve unpleasant things. All creation groans because things are not as they should be. What’s more, the life of the Spirit within us leads us to groan with all creation for God to set things right. 

Truth #2: This present age of suffering will not last forever. This groaning that characterizes we who have the life of the Spirit, is a hopeful groaning. It is a groaning that pulls us into the future, toward our adoption, that is, the redemption of our bodies. That for which we groan is not a body-less existence in heaven. Rather, we long by the Spirit, for resurrection, and when that glory is restored to us, all creation will rejoice. The trees of the field will clap their hands (Isaiah 55.12), because the glory and knowledge of the Lord will cover the EARTH as the water covers the sea (Isaiah 11.9)!

Truth #3: The suffering of this present age is not meaningless. Paul describes our groaning with all creation as labor pains. This means faithful suffering will produce life in the age to come. Beloved, the faithful suffering of this present age has glorious results to be enjoyed in the age to come. The sufferings of this age “are not worth putting in the scale alongside the glory” for which we wait! Amen! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!! 

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8.16-17, ESV). 

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him (Psalm 126.4-6, ESV).

Click here to listen to yesterday’s message, Self-Denial.

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