Summary: The reality that not everyone believes in Christ challenges Christians to stay focused on the good that God is up to in and through the lives of those who belong to Him in Christ.


While I was taking a rest break in the family room at the hospice facility, I was asked if I was waiting for someone to die . My response elicited a puzzled look from the one asking the question, as I said: "No, I am waiting for someone to be made alive.,,

My sister was transitioning "from the land of the dying to the realm of the living” - as a beloved theologian once wrote: "The Christian waits, not for death, but for life" .

The Holy Spirit of God was at work in her situation to turn "groaning into glory"!

To love the Lord and to trust Him to bring to pass that saying “death is swallowed up in victory'' is to be certain of that glorious hope which is ours in Christ Jesus!

Paul said it best (Romans 8:18): "For I am persuaded that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us."

In anticipation of our future glory, we wait in hope for the arrival of the day of our own transitioning. Until then, we carry on and enjoy life as best we can - one day at a time.

As we patiently wait - not passive but active patience - three groanings ought to be evident to those that love the Lord and trust Him:

{1} The whole creation is groaning (yearning for something better) and has done so since 'the fall of man" caused God's perfect creation to be subjected to a curse of devastation, decay, and destruction.

Nature therefore awaits its liberation which will occur when God's promise of new heavens and a new earth is fulfilled {Romans 8:19-22).

(2) If true of nature, such would be so much truer of we who love the Lord - due to the experience we have already had in this life of tasting how good it is to have God as Father, Christ as Lord, and the Holy Spirit as companion.

So! We can hardly wait for our groaning (our yearning, our longing to experience no more suffering and no more of this or that) to be turned into a glorious new existence that includes a new glorified body! (Romans 8:23-25).

(3) In the meantime, as Creation and Christians await that Day when groaning will be turned into glory, yet another form of groaning occurs to help us get from here (our present circumstances} to there (our future glory) - Romans 8:26-27 . . .

Though Christians have the first fruits of the Spirit'" (8:23) -the Spirit's presence plus the Spirit's power working within us-we are aware of our weakness.

Oftentimes what we should pray for is far more apparent than how we ought to pray for it. Thus the Spirit searches our hearts to see what we need help with.

As for me, the Spirit searches my heart and finds that I need all the help I can get!

If the Spirit did not help me bring my prayers into conformity with the will of God, I doubt that much of my praying would ever rise above the ceiling.

One thing I know is: that much speaking is far less effective than getting to the point- stating a specific need as you understand it, and asking God to meet that need as He sees fit.

And, you know, sometimes it's better if we just stop talking - and let the Spirit take over and convey to God our Father what we are trying to say! The. Fact of the matter is:

Whatever our circumstances --- the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf to convey our needs and make our concerns known to God - and, in return, helps us to understand the will of God with regard to the matter, then prompts us as we follow through to do what we now understand to be God's will.

Sometimes, though, we find ourselves objecting to God's will as revealed by the Holy Spirit. We plead dire circumstances. Surely God knows my weakness and therefore will make an exception in my case. Maybe so, maybe not.

Believers! Be aware that the Lord our God often uses dire circumstances to accomplish His wilt and to make us more like His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ -¬ Romans 8:28-30 ...

Your personal experiences and mine have convinced us that in and through all things God works to bring about good - with one caveat - to them that love God! And have responded in the affirmative to His call: to come out of sin into salvation plus to become like Christ Jesus our elder brother in the family of God . . .

It's not that we become equal with Christ but that we now belong to the family of which Christ is the firstborn.

All sinners have been called to come out of sin into salvation, which means that "whosoever will may come . . . However: To be called is the first of two steps - the second being acceptance of that to which we have been called in accordance with God's predetermined plan of salvation.

Prior to creation - in advance - the Lord God "set the boundary" for how to become a member of the family so that only those who are "in Christ,” {who reside in the realm of Christ) will be saved. To be or not to be "in Christ” is left not to chance but to choice ! Every person on earth has free will by which to accept or reject.

Thus, the question: "What will you do with Jesus?"

To respond in the affirmative to God's offer of salvation in Christ is to be declared righteous - a member of the family in right standing with God ... designated as a joint-heir with Christ - to inherit all that the Kingdom of God has to offer.

God promises all who belong to the family of God a new state of being once we enter that heavenly abode prepared by Christ our Lord. We will be glorified!

As children of God, we will share in the glory of Christ in heaven! "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him"! (I Cor. 2:7-9) God said it . . . That settles it . . . I believe it!

What a promise! What a victory to look forward to! What a hope we have in Christ our Lord! We're left almost speechless - as was Paul - Romans 8:31-32 . . .

Folks: The human mind as magnificent as it is and the languages we speak varied as they may be do not have the capability of rising to the level of the Lord our God's thoughts and ways. We cannot grasp the wonder of it! We will just have to wait and see!

Yet! There are two reassuring takeaways from what we do know concerning what God has done, is doing and will do:

(1) Since God is for us, there is no one or no thing that can or will defeat us and keep us from inheriting all that God has prepared for us. With God on our side, how can we lose?

Think about it! We were so loved by God our Creator that, in order to save us from our sins . . . ourselves ...

Our enemies ... evil doers who would "'do us in" and destroy us if they could, God the Father did not hold back . . . abstain from doing whatever needed to be done . . . spare his own Son!

God allowed His one and only Son, though innocent of any wrongdoing, to be delivered into the hands of evil doers, to become a sin-offering sacrifice on our behalf!

(2) Since God our Father spared not His Son, how shall He not - on account of His great love - also freely give us all things - things that we need in the here and now, and things that we have been promised in the hereafter!

"Freely give” = a form of the word rendered "grace” = “unmerited favor"!

Since we undeserving sinners were granted amazing grace by God our Maker, how can we NOT trust Him to work in and through our circumstances to bring about a good result - a result that is in our best interests!

We can trust God to work for our good!

Folks: God has not left us on our own to figure out how to be His children ... how to do His Will. God has endowed us with His Holy Spirit to empower us to live a victorious life in Christ to the glory of God the Father!

To examine God's Story from cover to cover and to be taught by the Spirit is to be convinced that everything is going to turn out okay! God who is in the business of turning negatives into positives will turn our groaning into glory! Amen.