SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:18-24
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?
Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier offer that “The first promise is that of future glory. Perhaps no truth is so glaringly absent from the understanding of most Christians than the truth, and the implications thereof, that this world is not our home. When it finally settles into the heart and mind of the believer that we are ‘aliens and strangers in the world’ (1 Pet. 2:11; cf. also Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet. 1:1), many things change. Our present sufferings will be viewed against a backdrop of future glory that relegates today’s difficulties to insignificance by comparison. In fact, ‘The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own,’ as J. B. Phillips put it (Mounce, p. 184).”
While I know that this verse is referring to heaven, it does hit close to home right now as we continue to social distance and shelter-at-home. Almost everyone is desperate to leave their homes, go out, and experience the freedom of movement we used to take for granted and embrace those we love most. We too are waiting for that “future glory” when we feel like life will resume again. And when that time comes, I am sure we will celebrate and be joyful. So, taking all of that in, think of how we will, or maybe already do, feel in regard to the true “future glory” that this passage is talking about. That is not to discount the struggles or challenges of the times we are in now, but rather to highlight how much greater the “future glory” of heaven is.
What future glories are you anticipating when this pandemic has finally ended or at least subsided? What future glories are you dreaming about in the years to come?
God of all time – past, present, and future – we groan with all of creation for the future glory of your kingdom and the places that Jesus has prepared for us. Strengthen us with patience but free our hearts and minds to dream of what is to come. But we also ask that you help us to not lose sight of the current age and the work you have called us to here. Amen.