Summary: This passage opens up by talking about “present sufferings.” This is talking specifically about persecution, but this statement could be applied to anything you might be going through. The message of the verse is that God has something better in store f
This passage opens up by talking about “present sufferings.” This is talking specifically about persecution, but this statement could be applied to anything you might be going through. The message of the verse is that God has something better in store for them who love Him. He is going to reveal His glory in us. When will He do this? I want to suggest that He will do it both now and forever.
Now, we under no condemnation, says verse 1, and we have been made free from the law of sin and death, according to verse 2. First John 3:2 says, “...now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed wht we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is.” So, the fact is, whatever we are faced with in the present, we can take heart, because we know that things are going to get better.
The only reason we have to deal with any difficulties in the present, is because of sin. Do you believe that? The Bible reveals God as a Loving Heavenly Father, and us as His children. Jesus said in Matthew 7:9-11, “...what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” God is not out to teach you lessons by beating you up, however, if you are determined to live in your sinful ways, He will allow you to learn some lessons through the consequences of your sinful actions. I am aware of the passage in John 9:1-3, where Jesus said a man was born blind “that the works of God might be manifest in him.” It would take me too far away from this text to go deeply into that, at this point, but I will say that when the blind man met Jesus, he received his sight.
The entire creation is effected by the sinfulness of mankind. Verses 19-22 tell us that the creation is in waiting for the presence of sin to be removed, like a woman travails in pain just before she gives birth to her child.
Can you imagine an existence without the blight of sin on everything around us? That is the kind of world that Adam and Eve were created into. They were to dress and keep the garden, but they didn’t have to fight the weeds and the briars. They never had to worry about not enough, or too much, moisture. Their work was not a difficult struggle, but it was filled with joy. God is taking us to that kind of existence, and this passage is telling us to look up, lift our heads, because our redemption is drawing nigh!
This promise is etremely motivating, when we consider Who made the promise, but God has gone beyond simply giving us a promise. He has given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts, as a “first fruit,” to give us that deep-down, inner witness that we so often need. Have you ever been in a really bad situation, and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit just rose up in you and encouraged you? I remember an occasion when I felt like I had hit the bottom and just needed to curse God and die, and somebody said, “It’s going to be alright.” Now, those may not seem like deeply spiritual words, but I’ll tell you, the Holy Spirit witnessed with my spirit and said, “It sure is going to be alright,” and all of a sudden, I had such a sense of well being that I felt like breaking out in a song of joy.
This present hope that we are given through the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not seen, according to verses 24-25, but it builds up a patient endurance within us, and when we have that kind of hope in the Lord, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Everything is alright now, and it’s going to get better forever.
In addition to the promises of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we have the privilage of prayer. Verse 26 says, “...we don’t know what we should pray for, as we ought...” For a long time, I read that verse without really considering the part about, “as we ought.” Why would God say that? It is because we ought to know what we should pray for. We should pray for things that are consistent with God’s will, and we know that by knowing His word. Somebody always says, “But some things aren’t specifically spelled out in the Bible.” This is true, but if we will submit ourselves to the things that are specifically spelled out, the Holy Spirit will show us the things that aren’t. Verses 26-27 make the point that, in spite of our ignorace, the Holy Spirit, acting in the mercy of God, intercedes on our behalf and directs our prayers, so that they are according to His will.