Life is difficult, but there is hope for the future
Reflecting on the promises of Romans 8:18-27
When going to the gym, it often takes a while for someone to notice any increase in fitness. Hence, trainers love to roll out this old phrase: “No pain, no gain.”
Similarly, people will say that the suffering we see in this world proves that a loving God does not exist. Interestingly, Paul answers in Romans 8:18-27 that the pain of this life makes us long for and look towards the gain that is to come.
Why life is difficult:
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1-2 that God made the whole world, with us humans to rule the world under him. That is, he set up a hierarchy of rule:
- The rest of Creation
However, we see in Genesis 3 how everything went wrong. We see Eve and Adam rebel against God and do the one thing he told them not to do (3:6-7). As a result, we see the relationships between God and mankind and amongst mankind break down ( 3:8-13). These broken relationships are still seen today – we inflict all sorts of pain on each other and on God as we continue to rebel against him.
God is just; he will not let evil go unpunished. So, he curses Satan, he curses Eve, he curses Adam, and he curses the world itself. From that point on, life got harder for all of us.
How God will fix it:
Romans 8:18-25 refers to these curses and the sufferings that result. This world is broken – it hurts to live here. Yet this pain is not without a reason: it is to make us long for a world that isn’t broken (8:21). God is the one who cursed the world, so we must look to him to remove the curse (8:20, 22).
Those who trust in Jesus have the hope that the sufferings of this world will come to an end when Jesus returns (8:23-24) – when Jesus comes back, those who trust him will be saved from all the sin, pain and death of this life and given new, eternal life with him in a new, corruption-free creation.
What to do in the meantime:
But God doesn’t leave us alone while we wait for Jesus (8:25) – he dwells in us by his Spirit. He helps us to pray (8:26) and keeps us, his set-apart people (“saints”), on track for salvation (8:27).
Gym workouts might gain you a nice body in the short term, but God promises that trusting in Jesus will gain you an eternal body in a perfect creation for all time.
So, then, will you look to Jesus, surrender your life to him and hope in the perfection that is to come?
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