“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.“(Romans 8:22-23 ESV)
This devotion pairs with this weekend’s Lutheran Hour message, a rebroadcast of a classic sermon by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann.
Nature is groaning?
It is, according to the apostle Paul. It is waiting for something to happen, something great: the disclosure of the glory of God in the sons of God when their natural bodies will be redeemed from the earth and transformed as the body of Jesus was transformed in His glorious resurrection. And what a day that will be!
This is no vain hope, my friend. It is no mirage. It is your destiny in Christ. Receive Him as your Savior and share in His glory. In Christ, God has something magnificent in store for you. (See Jeremiah 29:11).
You don’t live in the future, of course. You live in the present—here and now—with all its heartache and frustration. Don’t let the problems of the present get in your way. Don’t let them block your view of the bigger picture of God at work in the world.
With your mind enlightened by the eyes of faith in Jesus your Savior, you don’t have to worry about what you will meet around the bend. Everything fits into a pattern of good to those who love God. It is His Word to you: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV).
Have joy in Christ! The day of your liberation is coming. Follow the Savior in faith, worship God with your life, and celebrate the day of independence that is soon coming. It will be here “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52a ESV).
Forget your groaning, and live with the assurance—the assurance that goes with confident trust in Jesus Christ. Wait on God with the patience of hope. You don’t have to wait, however, to rejoice. You can rejoice. Right now, even in the midst of what St. Paul called, “the sufferings of this present time” (Romans 8:18b).
Endure patiently and take gracefully everything life has to offer. Accept gratefully the goodness of God that leads to repentance and to faith in Jesus Christ. Have a clear eye for Christ, crucified and risen again. He is the Lord who suffered. He is the King of kings who has risen victoriously. He is the One who humbled Himself, even to death—death on a cross, and He is the One who has entered into His glory. And He is coming back for those who put their trust in Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, draw us closer to You that we might live with the daily confidence in the knowledge of Your love for us. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
From “The Vision We Need,” a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on August 26, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Do you experience any unexplained anxieties?
2. What does it mean that “the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now”? Is this something we can see?
3. How do you patiently endure the circumstances of life without being unduly burdened by them?