Hope and Patience
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:22-23).”
O the wonderful hope that every child of God possesses in and through the Lord Jesus Christ! The hope that we now have in Him is one that waits with great anticipation for the culmination of the eternal God’s redemptive decree, our adoption into His family finally exemplified by the redemption of our bodies. Such a hope it is, that it is hard to fully understand and to the world it is foolishness. But there is no greater truth in all of creation.
Yet for a little while, the whole of creation groans and travails under the weight of the curse of man’s sin and rejection of the Creator. The pain of sin and death is the constant companion of the flesh. From the very young to the very old, death is no respecter of age. From the very weak to the very strong, sickness and the ailments that are common to men will strike every one of us. From the poorest among us to the rich and powerful, all will know the experience of pain and suffering. This is the reality in which we now live.
Even for those of us who have repented of our sin and believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we too are not exempt from the sufferings and pains which this life has to offer. While our hearts have been given new life by the work of the Spirit of God through the Lord Jesus Christ, we yet dwell in bodies that are touched by the curse. What we now have through Christ is but the “firstfruits” of what we have been promised in that great day of deliverance. Even we, yet groan within ourselves at the sights, smells, and experiences that sin and death bring to all who have been born into this world. And yet we wait! Yes, dear saint of God we wait with that great hope that has been granted to us even as the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts.
This existence in which we now find ourselves is but temporary. Through the pain, the sorrow, the death, and the mourning that we will all experience in this life, we live with the confidence in Christ that we are the children of God, and if we are His children than we are joint-heirs with Christ Jesus our Lord. When we experience suffering, pain, sorrow, and even death, we do so with the confidence that Christ Jesus our Lord has done so before us as the first-fruit of many brethren. We have been granted the confidence of a hope that can only come with trusting in a risen and glorified Savior. So, we may share in the same confidence Paul had when he wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Be patient dear saint of God. There can be no doubt that all of God’s people long for the hope that has been set within us. We long to take hold of our inheritance which is God Himself and His glory. But for now, for this short time that we have on this earth, we must exercise patience. But take heart, hope that is seen is not hope, but if we hope for that which is not yet seen, then we wait with the patience that only the gift of faith can provide.