Groaning Patiently

Tuesday, May 5

I’m indebted to John Piper for this one. “For the creation was subjected to frustration . . . in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay . . . and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (Rom. 8:20-21). A key word here is “hope.” Hope is not “pie in the sky” or wishful thinking. The Greek word for “hope” means that some future event is sure to happen, a certainty that is as good as done. In this case, hope means that the redeemed will assuredly be glorified (made holy). The burden of our sin nature and living in an evil world is enough to moan and groan about, but it is exacerbated by the hope of being freed from it all at a future guaranteed time. We “groan” because it hasn’t happened yet. We yearn for freedom from sin. The transformation will be glorious. Freedom from sin will be such a new experience and so overwhelming that we will worship God in a new way. Christ will be exalted in glorious splendor. It will all be done in a spectacular display throughout the universe. All men of all time will be there to witness it, even the unredeemed. All of this is involved in the word “hope.” Hope is what allows us to endure the current evil state, albeit with groaning. The first verse of this passage (Rom. 8:18-25) says it all. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” That is the core message. The admonition at the end of the passage is to wait for it patiently (v. 25). The more we understand of this great future event, the more we will groan. But that’s OK. Just groan patiently!

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