This post is part of my book launch, Meeting God at Wits’ End: Hope for the Weary
A Future Hope
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
As we saw previously, Paul greatly suffered throughout his ministry as God’s chosen instrument. Today’s verse, though, doesn’t seem to refer to his particular sufferings; although, no doubt, he also included them.
The passage indicates that he’s referring to a fallen world with all its difficulties, struggles, hardships, and sufferings. This sinful world has been “subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope” (v. 20). Even though there seems much pointlessness in this world, Christians have a sure and solid hope.
Paul stated that this world longs to be “set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (v. 21). As we journey through this fallen world, we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). We await our future glorification with “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).
That should be an essential hope amidst our hardships: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (v. 24-25). How else can we otherwise go on, especially when life has thrown us a curveball? A hungry stomach is much more bearable when a meal is on the horizon.
When Adam and Eve sinned, the sentence was clear: “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:17-19). Suffering, pain, and death are part of this fallen world.
Nevertheless, God had already given them hope, even before the sentence: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). Whatever our sins, struggles, or sufferings, there’s always hope through the gospel.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given me hope.
The Devotional Writer