Wait for It….
This phrase has become popular in our culture as a reference to a shocking scene or language that comes at the end of a video clip…wait for it…wait for it…and then, boom, there it is! But in Romans 8 we have a far more important thing to wait for. Let’s read verses 18-25: 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Having been raised in the United States I can’t identify with what Paul would have experienced when he talked about suffering. Paul suffered immense physical and emotional torture for the sake of the gospel, as well as (I would guess) living a life without many, if any, human luxuries. So when Paul says that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the future glory, he is really saying something. He is telling the Romans and us today, that the glory of heaven, the glory of the complete redemption of this world from sin is going to be amazing. And that hope is intended to serve a purpose in our lives right now. It is intended to motivate us to persevere in this life…intended to encourage us to live for the next world while we live in this one. Please don’t get too attached to this world; nor feel like the suffering of this world is more than you can bear. With Jesus and His power, you can endure the sufferings of this world and you can have the sure hope of a much, much better one.