Our Coming Glory
Today’s Reading: Romans 8:18-39 (SOAP, 8:18)
from groans to glory
While in most Bibles verse 18 starts a new “section” of Romans chapter 8, Paul is actually continuing a train of thought that he had just mentioned in verses 16-17, where he wrote: The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. It’s important to understand this if you want to understand the “suffering” he refers to throughout the rest of the chapter.
Clearly the suffering is related, at least in part, to our belief in and relationship with Christ. Whatever the suffering is – every day pain on this sin-cursed earth or persecution as His follower, or both – clearly we will face suffering. However, Paul’s point of hope seems to be that our suffering will be far outweighed by the glories of God revealed to those who belong to God – enabling us to transition from groaning over our situations to rejoicing in the glory to come, our inheritance in Christ and the fulfillment of God’s promises of eternity.
A Change Of Focus
When we suffer, whether it is from petty hurts, great sorrows or persecution, an anguishing illnesses or catastrophic event – as God’s children we can suffer with hope. However, our hope is different than the hope that the world has. The hope of the world says things like, “keep your chin up things will get better” but our’s is the hope of the glory to come. Please don’t misunderstand me, this doesn’t change the realness of the “present suffering” but it definitely can and should change our focus. To borrow from another of Paul’s letters, we must “press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us, Phil 3:14.
Father, how exciting it is to know that one day our present suffering will be over! One day we will stand before You taking in Your glory and majesty. Every pain and sorrow will be gone! Thank you for this hope and may it be our focus over today’s suffering. In Jesus’ name I pray –