Tuesday 4 June 2019
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Are you looking forward to summer?
Some of us love the warmth, the sunlight and the long evenings. On the other hand, some of us dread the pollen season and others try to avoid the sweltering heat and the risk of sunburn. We look forward to some seasons more than others.
There will always be some seasons of life that contain some sort of suffering. Paul was writing to people who were going through suffering. He did not promise them that their suffering would immediately stop, but he wanted them to get a sense of perspective so that they would be motivated to persevere through their suffering.
Firstly he says that their present sufferings are not worth comparing to the future glory that will be revealed in them. The promise of a resurrection body can give us hope if we are going through suffering in this life.
Secondly, he says that God works in all things for the good of those who love him. ‘In all things’ includes in suffering. Suffering does not mean that God has forgotten about us or stopped loving us. Difficult seasons can prepare us for what is to come. God’s aim is for us to be conformed to the image of his Son. Suffering can refine our character and make us more patient – more like Jesus.
Romans 5: 2-5
…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Thomas Halley, Sawyers Church Leadership Team