June 7

Anticipate God’s Glory

Romans 8

            KEY VERSE: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

--Romans 8:18


            Ours is an imperfect world. The innocent suffer. All people must endure pain and suffering. When we search for answers, there is no better place to turn for wisdom than the eighth chapter of Romans. Over and over again Paul’s words offer us hope as we struggle to understand the predicament of the human race.

In the beginning God created a good world. People had the opportunity to live in harmony with God, but they chose to disobey God. Sin resulted in pain and suffering. Still God refused to give up on his creation. After centuries of seeking the restoration of his wayward children to fellowship with himself, God made the ultimate sacrifice. He sent his to die upon the cross so that the whole world might be forgiven and reconciled.

            Since the death and resurrection of Jesus the entire created world has been “groaning” for redemption, for deliverance from the bondage of sin and suffering. We see this struggling in nature and in animals, and we experience it in ourselves. Baffled by the problem of pain and the consequences of our own sins, we long desperately for hope.                No stranger to pain himself, Paul offers us the hope we seek. His confidence in the goodness of God moves us to flee from our doubt and say, “Oh God, let me also stand with Paul and share his glad affirmations about the Christian’s future.” To do that is to shout a loud “Amen” to Paul’s convictions:

            + I can endure patiently my suffering because of the glory that God will give me in the resurrection.

            + When I do not know how to pray, the Spirit intercedes for me before God.

            + God is always working for my good so that nothing can happen to me that God cannot redeem for his purposes.

            + Since God is for me, I need fear none of my enemies.

            + Nothing can separate me from the love of God that is mine in Christ Jesus my Lord.

            Glory! Let the church say “Amen!”