For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this but also, we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees? But, if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:18-27 [NASB])
Those things that cause us pain now, pain in our hearts, minds, and/or bodies, are only a small blip in time. Yes, they hurt like nobody’s business, but when we get the mind of Christ, then we get His perspective. This present pain is for a little while, and so we understand we can have hope; we do have hope. Our hope rests in Jesus Christ as our resurrected Savior who gives us eternal life. We recall this hope as His Spirit lives in us and reminds us this present time is just a small dust-mote-size of time in the expanse of time and eternity. Not only does the Spirit remind us and so encourages us, He also prays for us when we are so tired, so sick, so bereft, so despairing that we do not know how to pray anymore. The Spirit prays exactly what needs to be prayed because He prays the heart of God for our lives. God has our best interests in His heart and so the Spirit prays for the best thing for us. What does that mean? The Spirit prays we grow closer to the Lord and bring God glory. When was the last time you were sick, and you prayed, “Not my will, God, but Yours be done even if that means I will not get well as soon as I would like”?
That is a very hard prayer to pray for a human. For that reason Jesus gave each of His believers, every Christian, His Spirit. There are things that are too hard for our mortal, earth-bound minds to pray. Paul said this when he said, “For creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” At the moment of salvation, when we confess Jesus as our Lord, we are set free from the power of sin and death. Yet, we are continually being sanctified, made holy as Christ is holy. Jesus set us free from sin and death, but still we must grow to be more like Christ and less like our old selves. This is how we have the glory of the children of God; we begin being more changed and having more and more the mind of Christ as Paul said in Philippians 2. Our hope is to become closer to God in heart, mind, and spirit so that nothing can cause us to do anything except praise God and bring Him glory. Being in God’s presence is our hope now while we live on in our mortal bodies and our hope for the future when God resurrects us to new life with Him.
These are our greatest hopes. Yes, we hope to be well. We hope to obtain a job and be able to buy food for our families. We hope to get into college so we can have a good life as an adult. We hope so many things, but most of them are just for this earthly plain. Yet, if we hope for what we do not see, God and eternity with Him, then we persevere and wait eagerly. Hope creates perseverance in us. This perseverance makes us stronger. These things now that afflict us, we remember with hope and eager expectation, are just small road-bumps in our earthly lives. Since God knows how many hairs are on our head at any point in our lives, He knows and cares about every speed-bump we hit. Since God loved us enough to send Jesus to die for us on the cross, He loves us enough to be with us, give us hope, and send His Spirit to live in us to pray in the exact way that most helps us. When we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit prays for us. He prays according to the will of God, the One who loves us more than we can ever think or imagine, the One who knows best what needs to be done in that moment of our life, in every moment of our life.
Those things that cause us pain now “are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Think upon the glory of God, the glory that reminds us of His intense love for us. Then remember God sent His Spirit to pray for us because we don’t know exactly how to pray. We are so overwhelmed with our pain and problem, that the exactness of how to pray eludes us. We can rest assured the best prayers to God are being made for us by the Spirit and we can trust, because of God’s great love for us, that those requests the Spirit makes for us, are the best prayer requests for us. We have hope and can hold on to hope with perseverance and eagerness because God knows, God hears, and God loves you. God is greater than your pain. Rest in His hands. Seek His heart. Hold on to hope in Him because He is mighty and will walk with you through your pain. God has the best plan for this time in your life; trust Him. Grow more Christlike and enjoy the freedom of the glory as the child of God.
When we acknowledge God has a perfect plan for meeting our needs and when we rely on Him with perseverance, eagerness, and hope, we can say what Paul said in Romans 8:28-30.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these who He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. [NASB]
When we persevere, rely on, and hold on to our hope in God, then we will be like Christ, who was glorified. This honor can only be given by God and He gives it to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Glorification is connected to the justification each believer receives from Jesus. Keep loving God. Keep answering His call for His purpose. Keep hoping knowing that God will not disappoint you because you are loved and justified. And you will be glorified in the last days.
You will have pain, but you have
the hope of glory to which to look forward.
Lord, I think I know what I need now, and I am praying it, but that situation does not seem to be getting better. I’m at the end of my rope. Today, I read Your word in Romans 8 and realize I’ve been demanding what I think I need and not letting Your Spirit intercede for me. I’ve seen my situation and have lost perspective of You. I have allowed my troubles to consume me and decrease my perspective that You are almighty and all-knowing. Nothing that affects me can lessen Your power or escape Your knowledge. Lord, please hear me; listen to the words I can’t seem to find that expresses my despair and anguish in my situation. Lord, hear the prayers of Your Spirit and intervene in my life and situation where You know is best. I’ve given up and realize You alone know the best way to remedy this. You, Lord, are worthy to be praised now because I realize You have the answer for me now; that gives me hope. You have given me hope for my eternal future. By You, I exist. Through Your Son, I am saved and have eternal life. Thank you for reminding me of the hope You’ve given me. Help me to persevere and grow stronger and more like You. Thank you for what You’ve done, what You are doing, and what You will do. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.