8. The Three Unique Groanings (Romans 8:18-27)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us. 19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
Paul was not satisfied with his faith and his love to God, but he reached forward to the riches of our hope in God. Do you expect the revelation of the glory of God? Is this the aim of your life? Do not be satisfied with the solution of your small problems, for the design of God is to redeem the whole world. Expect the greatest present of God, that is, the regeneration of the whole creation.
Animals suffer, and the grass passes away. Woe to the man who causes pain to animals. Did you notice that the eyes of animals are closed and are filled with sorrow? This is because they are mortal. Joy has left them, and loneliness and trouble have appeared. All animals look forward to the manifestation of the glory of the sons of God, for by the coming of the Lord, his children, who are born of his Spirit, will be delivered from the body of their suffering, and his glory will be revealed in them. Then, all creatures will be saved. In that age, no donkey will be beaten angrily, and no mosquito will hurt those who are asleep. God has promised us complete peace on earth, which will be accomplished at the second coming of Christ with all his saints and angels. Do you long for him?
Nature has been suffering since the fall of man, for by the corruption of man, his office and everything under his authority was corrupted. Paul expresses the suffering of creation as the extreme pain of childbirth, which brings the Son of God nearer to us, for he suffers with us and with every animal. He wants to come as near as possible for the salvation of all.
23 Not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for that which he sees? 25 But if we hope for that which we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.
The sons of God, in our world, groan in the power of the Spirit of the Lord in their subconscious, asking that their adoption be completed in them. We have been redeemed by faith, but we shall be redeemed completely. Today, we bear partial perfection in our souls, but complete perfection is awaited.
Certain hope and thankfulness in advance for the glory to come is an essential manifestation of the spiritual life in us. We do not long for gold or lust, but we want to see God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Do you long to see your Father? Do you expect the fellowship of Christ, your Redeemer? Remember that your mortal body will burn in the presence of the glory of God, and you will become an everlasting light in his. This is the longing of the saints, for their hidden life in God will appear shortly. It will not only fill the heart, but their tortured, sick, mortal bodies will also be changed and glorified. We all need plenty of patience in the waiting room here on earth, for technology and sciences seek to break our hope through establishing a transient paradise in our world. However, the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of the forthcoming glory.
26 In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered. 27 He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit’s mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God.
The Holy Spirit himself suffers in our weak bodies, grieves over the inability of our being, feels pain for our stingy, exhausted prayers, groans for our incomplete knowledge, becomes sad at our weak love, and wonders at our poor strength. The Spirit of God himself prays and intercedes for the believers, who even though they did not pray, spiritual groanings crop up in them, according to the Lord’s Prayer, which is the prayer of the Holy Spirit. Submit yourself to this school of prayer that you may be delivered from your selfishness and led to the storm of thankfulness and supplication in the way of love, praying wisely, gladly, and powerfully, for the Spirit of the Lord prays in you day and night that the whole world may be saved. So, when will you participate in his supplication to your heavenly Father, praying and thanking with all your heart?
PRAYER: O Holy Father, forgive us our slow, selfish prayers, and guide us to sanctify your holy name, to glorify the redemption of Christ with all our being, and to work humbly in the power of your Spirit. O Lord, teach us to realize the hope of the Spirit, to pray as He pleases, and to long for your presence and for the coming of your Son in great glory that the whole creation may be saved together with the hopeful in our nation.
- Who are those who suffer for the coming of Christ? Why?