We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Aaron Martell.
“18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing 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 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Let’s be honest, there is a whole bunch going on in this passage, not only in this passage, but in this chapter and in the book of Romans. To the best of my ability, knowing it is not complete, I want to continue our conversation of endurance and what that means on our faith journey.
Because when we look at endurance, Paul gives us a vivid picture of what that means in the middle of this passage. Take note of verse 22, “…for we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” I’m not going to pretend I understand anything about childbirth, or the groaning of birth pains. Even to the point that, as a dad, I got off easy, because my wife had to go through 2 C-sections for our children. With that said, we have had to deal with our own groaning, because we had 5 other pregnancies that failed in miscarriage.
I share that because when we talk about the groaning of creation, when we talk about childbirth in the literal sense, when we talk about endurance, it is a groaning and a waiting, eager but patient.
No matter if it is an endurance workout, a long journey, and expedition, we may have the goal in mind, but the grit to continue is motivated by the desire to finish. If the pain of the journey is the only thing we see, we will not forge on.
That’s why I like N.T. Wright’s perspective on this passage. “We groan and sigh, if we know what we are about, as we experience the tension between the glorious promise and the present reality. This tension is encapsulated in the fact that the spirit is already at work within us, but has not yet completed the task of our full renewal.”
We are not alone in this journey; the Spirit is at work within us to spur us towards the prize which calls us heavenward.
Heavenly Father, there are many pains, groans, and uncertainty all around us. May we hold onto your promise, that in this world we will have trouble, but take heart for you have overcome the world. May we have the endurance that acknowledges the pain, but is eager with patience. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Spend some time journaling and reflecting on these questions:
- Where do you have your hope? In the things of this world? Or beyond, the promise to come?
- What are the pains or the groans that are real in your life? How is the Spirit encouraging you to tend to those?
- Who else may you need to invite in, as you walk the endurance road of faith?
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