“I was counting down from day 100 for when he was gonna be here. And then it was day five, and I’m like, ‘Five days. This is crazy!’” said Kristina to her local news station in Boston. She and her husband were expecting their first child, an exciting time in the life of any couple. However, Robert and Kristina had some unique circumstances: he was deployed in Afghanistan. Going through her pregnancy without her husband was likely difficult, but his anticipated arrival for the baby’s birth was a hope that anchored her. Thankfully, Robert arrived just in time; in fact, the baby came twenty minutes after he made it to the hospital. Anticipation had been building for months and the arrival of both husband and baby made for a joyous occasion.
- Have you ever had to wait a long time for something you really wanted?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 8:18-25 (ESV)
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 first fruits 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.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Does this passage say that sufferings don’t matter? What does it reveal about suffering?
- According to this passage, what is to be revealed in the future?
- What does creation wait for? What do we wait for?
- How are we to wait (vss. 19, 23, 25)?
- Think of a difficult situation in your life or community. How does knowing what is coming serve as hope for you now?
RESPOND TO GOD
Ever since the Fall in Genesis 3, the world has been broken: hurricanes destroy homes, floods take lives, wildfires scar the land. We have been broken, too: sin is our nature, sickness robs our life, depression weighs us down. But there is a new day coming. We await a future glory of complete redemption. This redemption involves freedom, belonging, and transformation that we can’t even begin to imagine, not only for us, but for creation as well. So, take heart! The Lord doesn’t discount the sufferings of this life; he knows and he will remedy them all. Anticipate with hope. Wait with patience.
- Pray that the hope of redemption and future glory will be an anchor to your soul.
- Prayerfully ask the Lord if there is anyone with whom you need to share this perspective, this hope of redemption and future glory.